There is a programme on Radio 4 called The Unbelievable Truth in which panellists compete to see how many nuggets of truth they are able to hide among their lies and as an example of the Alice in Wonderland world in which Donald Trump inhabits, consider this

“I am considered a world-class expert in tourism. When you ask, “Where is the expert and where is the evidence?” I say: I am the evidence.” (col 1344)

Following the appearance of Donald Trump and Trump organisation Executive Vice-President, George Sorial, at the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 25 April 2012, I can confirm that he repeated 3 of the 10 lies documented here and added one more. The Official Report of the Committee meeting is available here and the (Col xxxx) references are to column numbers from the report.

Lie 7

“I have invested tens of millions of pounds in my site on the North Sea coast.” (col 1342)

“Tens of millions” means at least £20 million. From the published accounts of Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd. to 31 December 2010, only £6,455,690 has been invested in addition to the £6,917,850 capital to acquire the land.

Lie 8

“By the time that I bought the land, I did not think that the wind farm would happen.” (col 1344)

“I felt confident by the time that I bought the land that the wind farm would not happen.” (col 1344)

“By the time that I bought, I felt secure and I felt secure for a period of time.” (col 1345-36)

As revealed in the 21 February 2006 “deal killer” email, Scottish Development International (SDI) were telling the Scottish Executive that their “client” was “about to conclude a deal within the next few days” and was seeking “an authoritative view as quickly as possible from the Scottish Executive on the wind farm proposal”. Donald Trump had acquired the bulk of Menie Estate for £4.498 million a month previously on 27 January 2006.

SDI can only have obtained these reported views from the Trump Organisation and I have today asked SDI to confirm the source of their information. But as things stand, Donald Trump misled the Committee by saying that by the time he had bought the land, he was confident that the EOWDC project “would not happen” if a month later he was desperately seeking assurances.

Under questioning by Patrick Harvie MSP, George Sorial reacted angrily to this allegation.

George Sorial: Mr Harvie asked about the e-mail from SDI. Why does he not ask SDI that question? It wrote the e-mail. The e-mail was not to us; it was from SDI to the Scottish Government. It is not reasonable for Mr Harvie to ask us to speculate on what SDI meant by what it said. That is absolutely ridiculous.” (col 1346)

Patrick Harvie: “On 21 February 2006, following discussions with yourselves, SDI wrote an e-mail that indicated that it was clearly under the impression that the deal would be completed in a few days.”(col 1346)

George Sorial: “That is hearsay. Were we copied in on that e-mail? It was an e-mail from SDI to the Scottish Government. Why would you even bring it up? It has no bearing on this hearing. That is ridiculous.” (col 1347)

Of course the email was SDI to the Scottish Government but the views reported were attributed to the Trump Organisation and it is patently ridiculous to suggest that they invented these views. Mr Sorial will be pleased to know that SDI have now been asked about the email. (see UPDATE)

Lie 9

In response to a line of questioning about a Visit Scotland poll on wind farms and tourism, Mr Trump replied,

“No one knows more about polls than I do; in fact, if you want to hear about polls, I had 93 per cent approval for my project when people were fighting me on it.” (1353)

Despite much repetition of this figure, Trump has never produced any evidence to substantiate the claim despite repeated requests to do so. This allegation will be withdrawn if he can prove it is true.

A new lie

There was one additional lie in Trump’s evidence. This was the claim that Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

“was been seen running in the park last week” (col1355)

No comment.

UPDATE 23 NOVEMBER 2012

The Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee today published the report on its inquiry. Paragraph 288 notes that “While some strongly held localised and anecdotal opinion exists, the Committee has seen no empirical evidence which demonstrates that the tourism industry in Scotland will be adversely affected by the wider deployment of renewable energy projects, particularly onshore and offshore wind.”

In relation to the deal killer email, Scottish Development International replied to me in May 2012 to say that they do not have any information relating to the claims made in the email since “the author of the email advises, that to their recollection. much of the information was covered in telephone conversations and was not formally recorded.”

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Democracy, Politics, Trump

Picture of Michael Cohen

I resent spending time writing about Trump. But he continues to bully, harrass and lie as well as violating people’s human rights, breaching planning consents and generally running riot over the lives and democratic processes of Scotland. So what did we learn today?

We learnt that, contrary to all the bluster, Trump’s claims about promises, reassurances and deals were hot air. All he had were alleged comments from Jack McConnell and Alex Salmond as to the likelihood of an offshore wind energy test centre in Aberdeen Bay. We learnt that in October 2007, Trump had dinner with Salmond at a Scottish Development International event in New York at which Trump was led to believe that the EOWDC project was unlikely to obtain consent. Trump completely and utterly failed to understand that such opinions count for nothing. He only has himself to blame for what has happened since.

We learnt that he continues to lie – only this time it was to a Parliamentary Committee rather than to the press. For the record, he restated lies 2,7,8 and 9 of these ten lies of Donald Trump.

We also learnt that he will definitely not go ahead with his hotel and golf resort if the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) is granted consent.

We also learnt (though this be by deduction) that his objection to EOWDC is in fact simply an excuse to abandon his project.

Why?

Because George Sorial, his Executive Vice President and Counsel is on record as saying that,

“For this project to ever really be great, we need to have a hotel and I would challenge anyone to find a developer that would put a hotel on that site with some of the properties that are currently there in the states they are.” (1)

Trump’s delusion was to think that he could simply buy out the residents by offering them enough money. But they are made of sterner stuff.

We also learnt that Trump is now employing his New York “pit bull”, Michael Cohen who yesterday issued one of the resident’s with a “pass” to get in and out of her own home. He might care to know that under Scots law and under Human Rights legislation people in Scotland do not need Mr Trump’s permission to enter their own home. Indeed to attempt to hold anyone to ransom in this way is a criminal offence. In an interview with ABC, Cohen boasted,

“It means that if somebody does something Mr Trump doesn’t like, I do everythign in my power to resolve it to Mr trump’s benefit. If you do something wrong, I’m going to come at you, grab you by the neck and I’m not going to let you go until I’m finished.”

Charming.

Oh, and we also learnt that trump’s new friends in Communities Against Turbines Scotland are climate-change deniers.

And finally, Mr Trump Snr, Mr Trump Jnr and George Sorial are still GlobalScots.

Mr Trump, could you pleeeeeeease do us all a favour and get tae…

NOTES

(1) Donald Trump’s Golf War by Midas Productions. First broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland 15 november 2010 at 46:46