Politics

Trump Billed Scottish Residents For A Golf Course Wall

| by Kathryn Schroeder

President-elect Donald Trump attempted to get Scottish residents to pay for a wall he constructed as part of a golf course nearby their property.

In November 2008, when the Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, Scotland, was in the process of being built, the Trump Organization ran into problems with neighbors of the golf course who refused to sell their properties at the offered price, The Washington Post reported.

Trump tried to use compulsory purchase, which is similar to eminent domain in the U.S., to acquire the properties and force the residents out of their homes.

At the time, Trump said he did not want the views from his luxury hotel “obliterated by a slum.”

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To stop Trump from taking Michael Forbes' land, whom Trump referred to as living "like a pig," a group of activists purchased a chunk of the land and put all of their names on the deed, making it more complicated to seize.

Unable to take Forbes' land, and others, Trump took steps to shield neighboring properties from his golf course.

Workers built a two-story-high hill in the front yard of Susie and John Murro’s cottage, with a fence and locked gate. Now their yard fills with water when it rains and the steep dirt road becomes a mudslide.

A fence was ripped out near the home of David and Moira Milne, located in a converted coast guard station on a hill above the golf course, because of a property line dispute. The bill for the replacement fence Trump workers installed was sent to the Milnes.

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“It ain’t getting paid," David Milne said. "I’m never paying it."

The amount of the bill, which David reportedly threw away in the trash, was $3,500, according to a New York Times report reviewed by Newsmax.

The golf course, which was supposed to employ 6,000 people, has around 100 employees and reported a loss of $1.36 million in 2015.

"He has a thing about walls, that Mr. Trump," Susan Munro said. "I hope America has a better experience than Balmedie."

On the campaign trail and as President-elect, Trump has said he will build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it.

In September, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the country would not pay for the wall.

A Mexican cement company has come forward offering its services to build the wall.

"We can't be choosy," Enrique Escalante, chief executive officer of Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, told Reuters. "We're an important producer in that area and we have to respect our clients on both sides of the border."

GCC generates around 70 percent of its sales in the U.S., and has three plants in the country. Escalante believes Trump’s plans to invest in energy and infrastructure in the U.S. would serve his company well.

"For the business we're in, Trump is a candidate that does favor the industry quite a bit," Escalante said.

In Scotland, Trump is unwelcome.

“He would have us think that he is widely respected and loved, that Scotland he has won over..." Aberdeen’s Suzanne Kelly, who organized a national petition to bar Trump from the country, said. "...That’s just delusional, I’m sorry to say. Nobody wants him around ... And he refuses to see or refuses to accept what is reality.”

Sources: The Washington PostNewsmax, Reuters / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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