Donald Trump last night launched an astonishing attack on Alex Salmond – accusing him of being “hell bent” on destroying Scotland.
The American has previously credited the first minister with keeping him in the UK after his north-east golf resort plans were initially rejected.
But in an stinging letter last night, he warned the SNP leader that other countries were laughing at his plans to line the Scottish coast with offshore wind turbines. And the New York-based tycoon said he would spend “whatever it takes” to protect the country he sees as his second home.
“The greatest service I could do to Scotland is to stop these horrible things – a greater service than building the world’s best golf course,” he said.
Seemingly harmless remarks by Mr Salmond – where he quipped that Mr Trump would eventually see the merit of the SNP’s green energy plans – brought an indignant response from the tycoon.
“For the record, taxing your citizens to subsidise wind projects by foreign energy companies will destroy your country and its economy,” his letter says.
“Jobs will not be created in Scotland because these ugly monstrosities known as turbines are manufactured in other countries such as China.
“These countries, who so benefit from your billions of pounds in payments, are laughing at you.”
Mr Trump announced a postponement on work at his resort last month after proposals for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) – an 11-turbine windfarm off Aberdeen Bay – were submitted to Marine Scotland.
Mr Trump’s letter goes on: “You seem hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline and therefore, Scotland itself – but I will never be ‘on board’, as you have stated I would be, with this insanity.
“As a matter of fact, I have just authorised my staff to allocate a substantial amount of money to launch an international campaign to fight your plan to surround Scotland’s coast with many thousands of wind turbines.”
The first minister declined to comment on the letter, but the Scottish Government released a stern response to the criticism of its green energy plans.
A spokeswoman said: “Scottish waters are estimated to have as much as a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind energy.
“A recent study suggests that harnessing just a third of the practical resource off our coast by 2050 would enable us to generate enough electricity to power Scotland seven times over.”