25/04/2012 11:17 BST

Donald Trump Insists Alex Salmond Made Turbines Pledge

Donald Trump said Scotland's First Minister led him to believe during a dinner in New York that there would be no offshore wind turbines near his golf course.

The US tycoon said Alex Salmond, like his predecessor Jack McConnell, gave the impression that the proposed offshore turbine test centre would not be built in view of his resort on the Aberdeenshire coast.

However, plans were subsequently lodged, prompting Trump to threaten to walk away from further plans for housing and a hotel.

He referred to the dinner during a committee hearing at the Scottish Parliament, held to probe Scottish Government renewable energy targets.

At a press conference held afterwards, Trump said: "He was in New York, we had a long dinner, we discussed a lot of things and one of them was wind and wind farms.

"I talked about the destruction of wind farms and how bad they are in some cases for the environment, but they have their place in terms of an industrial area, but that they would ruin the environment of Scotland.

"He was not as big a proponent in those days as he is now. Right now, he's being very misguided."

He continued: "He told me there is the Ministry of Defence, you have lots of different things including shipping lanes because it's near Aberdeen.

"I was certainly led to believe there would be absolutely no wind farm."

George Sorial, Mr Trump's executive vice president, said the dinner was hosted by Scottish Development International in October 2007.

Mr Trump said he was invited by Mr Salmond to attend but did not name the restaurant.

Despite claiming to be misled, Trump said he likes Salmond and refused to say he had been lied to.

He added: "Do I like him? Yes. I think he is misguided.

"I think this is a development that if you spent this kind of money on wind farms, I think Scotland will have no money, they will be in a disastrous state, they will be unable in five years to replace these horrendous things that they've built.

"When the UK stops subsidies, Scotland will go broke. So, I think I've done a great service by bringing this up."

He added: "I have absolutely no problems with Alex Salmond but he wanted me to come in very badly, he was very, very strong on my coming in. I think that's correct, I think he did the right thing."

Trump continued: "I was led to believe very strongly that the wind farm would never be built.

"If I thought it was going to be built, I would not have built here, I would have built in Ireland."

Asked if Salmond had offered to use his influence as First Minister to block the application, Trump replied: "I don't think he said that, no. But he led me to believe there would be no wind farm."

Asked if he had lost trust in Salmond, the businessman said: "I don't want to say that."

"I really hope he thinks he's doing the right job, I just think it will be the destruction of Scotland if this madness continues."

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said the dinner was held after Trump had already bought much of his estate, about 10 miles north of Aberdeen.