A WAR of words between Alex Salmond and Donald Trump has swiftly escalated this afternoon with the US billionaire branding the former First Minister a “has-been”.
The insult follows a statement from Mr Salmond in which he called Mr Trump a “three-time loser” after his latest court case was thrown out.
He accused Mr Trump of damaging Scotland’s economy with his “unacceptable behaviour” after the UK Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm near the presidential hopeful’s Aberdeenshire golf course.
He also suggested Mr Trump failed to follow through with promises made for the golf complex, such as a permanent club house.
But a spokesperson for the Trump Organisation hit back, saying: “Does anyone care what this man thinks?
“He’s a has-been and totally irrelevant.
“The fact that he doesn’t even know what’s going on in his own constituency says it all.
“We have a permanent clubhouse and the business is flourishing.
“He should go back to doing what he does best – unveiling pompous portraits of himself that pander to his already overinflated ego.”
The golf course was approved by the Scottish Government in 2008 after a controversial public local inquiry, but the two men spectacularly fell out after Scottish ministers backed the proposed wind farm in Aberdeen bay.
In one letter, Mr Trump said the then First Minister would be known as “Mad Alex” and “the man who destroyed Scotland” if the plans went ahead.
The Supreme Court analysed the case at a hearing in London in October after the businessman twice lost fights in Scottish courts.
In a statement issued after the ruling, Mr Salmond, now MP for Gordon, described Mr Trump as a “three-time loser”.
He said the billionaire had “at best postponed and at worst jeopardised” a £200 million economic boost from the offshore project.
Mr Salmond attacked Mr Trump for failing to live up to promises on the economic benefits of the Aberdeenshire course and for denying Scotland the chance of hosting the Open Championship at his second Scottish course at Turnberry in South Ayrshire following controversial comments on Mexicans and Muslims during the US presidential race.
The MP said: “As First Minister, I was cited in Trump’s legal action. Now that it is concluded, I am free to speak my mind on the damaging impact of his interventions on the Scottish economy.
“First, he has failed to meet the claims he made for the Menie Estate golf complex.
“He has created a fine golf course but it does not even have a permanent clubhouse at present, far less the claims of thousands of jobs and billions of investment.
“He has submitted further plans this year but we are now seven years into the project with very slow progress.
“Second, by his unacceptable behaviour he has condemned Turnberry, one of the outstanding golf courses on the planet, and the scene of two of the greatest Open Championships since the war, to Open Championship oblivion.
“There is no way the R&A will go near the Ayrshire course while Trump is in charge. As a result, Scotland stands to lose the £100 million economic return from a Turnberry Open.
“Third, this delay in the offshore wind demonstrator is deeply damaging to Scotland’s hopes of being on the cutting edge of that new technology.
“His behaviour and comments are unlikely to attract the votes of many Mexican Americans or Muslim Americans.
“Given his treatment of Scotland, Scots American are likely to join the ever-growing list of people alienated by Trump.”