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Trump says Scotland leader 'hell-bent on destroying' coastline with wind farm

Donald Trump reportedly chastised Scotland's first minister over plans for a windfarm off the coast and near his luxury golf course development.

Donald Trump claims Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, seems "hell-bent on destroying Scotland's coastline" and making a laughingstock of the country with a wind farm near the billionaire businessman's golf resort, British media reported Thursday.

In a letter to Salmond, Trump said of the proposal for 11 64-story offshore turbines, "With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history."

Trump is nearing completion of the first golf course at his $1.2 billion resort near Aberdeen. It was to include a second 18-hole course, a five-star hotel, luxury villas and timeshare apartments, but last month he froze plans for all but the first course until a decision is made on the "ugly monstrosities."

The windfarm, The European Offshore Wind Deployment Center, is a $237 million venture by Swedish utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, the Scotland Daily Record reported.

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, was the subject of a scathing letter by billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

Trump, who touts his "world's greatest golf course" as a generator of 7,000 jobs, said he will fight the wind farm, which Scottish officials have said could power the country seven times over.

"As a matter of fact, I have just authorized 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." He added: "Please understand that I am doing this to save Scotland."

The BBC reported that Trump also said in the letter, "Taxing your citizens to subsidize wind projects owned by foreign energy companies will destroy your country and its economy. Jobs will not be created in Scotland because these ugly monstrosities known as turbines are manufactured in other countries such as China.

"These countries are laughing at you," he wrote, likening the turbines to "bars of a prison."

"Luckily, tourists will not suffer because there will be none as they will be going to other countries that had the foresight to use other forms of energy."

The Scottish government says the country's 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.... An independent Scotland will be able to take full responsibility for this renewables revolution, along with the investment and thousands of jobs it brings."

Trump last year blamed a failing global economy for delaying Aberdeen's luxury development, according to a report at the time in The Guardian. "The world has crashed" since 2005, Trump said, citing the timing of his purchase of the Menie estate and dunes.

The purchase provoked a long-running battle with local residents, councillors and environmental groups about his proposals, which involved heavily altering the legally protected rare dunes, The Guardian reported.

Trump is using the wind farm as an excuse to cut and run, David Milne, a neighbor of the Trump property who has refused to yield to the developer and sell him his home, told The Guardian in January.

In pursuing the Scottish estate for his project, Trump has touted Scotland as the birthplace of his mother, Mary MacLeod. A New York Daily News story from June 2008 shows him outside a house in Tong, on the Isle of Lewis, where his mother was brought up before she emigrated to the U.S.

"She grew up in a simple croft until she landed in Manhattan at the age of 20 and her first language was Gaelic," says a Trump-signed letter on the Trump International-Scotland website, which also traces his Scottish ancestry.

Msnbc.com's Jim Gold contributed to this story. 

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