Trump's claims about Sean Connery helping him build a Scottish golf resort get resoundingly debunked

Trump's claims about Sean Connery helping him build a Scottish golf resort get resoundingly debunked

Scottish actor Sean Connery died on Saturday aged 90.

The iconic star, best known for being the first actor to play James Bond, had many, many tributes paid to him from those that had met and worked with him.

Connery's global appeal saw even president Donald Trump pay tribute to the star. In a series of tweets, Trump told a story of how Connery was influential in getting one of his resorts in Scotland up and running by apparently shouting "let him build the damn thing."

Trump was widely ridiculed for this tribute to Connery which was mostly about himself and also saw him used the word 'past' instead of 'passed.'

Connery, who would have had no decision on whether the development was given the go-ahead or not, was lined-up to be part of the launch for the hotel and golf course at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire in 2008. It's true that he was in full support of the complex, which also included 500 new houses and 950 holiday homes that were controversially built on a rare habitat. Connery is quoted by The Express as saying:

During tough economic times, this is a major vote of confidence in Scotland's tourist industry and our ability to rise to the challenge. I look forward to seeing a new gem in the north-east that is good for Aberdeenshire and good for Scotland.

It's exactly this kind of swift decision making and focus on boosting the economy and local job opportunities which shows that Scotland is an excellent place to do business.

The Guardian reports that the two men did know each other and Trump even wanted Connery to hit the first tee at the course when it opened but Trump and pro-golfer Colin Montgomerie took the shots instead.

However, Trump's claims about Connery's influence on his 'big development in Scotland' appear to have been a little exaggerated.

Martin Ford, an Aberdeenshire councillor who had first turned down Trump's application, told The Guardian that beyond some words of support in the press Connery was not involved in the process.

Mr Connery was not involved in the due process that led to the granting of planning permission for a golf resort at Menie.

He did not submit a letter of representation to the council, appear at the planning hearing, or at the public local inquiry.

Opinions offered in press articles are not material considerations in decisions on planning applications.

Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland, echoed these sentiments. He told The National:

Sean Connery’s contribution and life’s work was immense, real and lasting and everyone with an ounce of class is reflecting upon just that today. Tributes are great from all sources but this not a time for tweeting silly claims or indeed responding to them.

David Milne, a fierce critic of Trump and a neighbour of the golf course, was slightly less diplomatic telling The Guardian that the president's claims were "utter b*****ks."

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