Donald Trump clashes with judge as he tells golf course tale during fraud trial

Donald Trump has been told that bragging about his Aberdeenshire golf course is irrelevant by the judge sitting in his fraud case. The former President of the United States appeared on the witness stand of a Manhattan courthouse on Monday to contest a fraud case brought by the New York attorney general Letitia James.

Several executives from the Trump Organisation, including Donald Trump himself, stand accused of fraudulently inflating the value of properties to obtain preferential loans from banks.

As part of his testimony, Trump was quizzed on the value of his Trump International Golf Links course in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire. The court was shown financial statements that show that the Trump Organisation claimed to have permission to build more homes than they actually could.

Prosecutors asked Trump why the value of the Aberdeenshire property had increased by $245 million (£212 million) between 2013 and 2014 when little work had been done to it.

A boastful Trump said: “Aberdeen is the oil capital of Europe. Aberdeen is a very rich place. It’s an incredible piece of land and it may be the greatest golf course ever built.

“It’s one of the greatest pieces of land I’ve ever seen.”

But Judge Arthur Engoron was seemingly unimpressed, telling Trump that his thoughts about the land were “irrelevant” before pleading with his attorneys to “control” their client.

The New York court has already ruled that Trump and his eldest sons are liable for fraud with the current trial in place to determine how much they must pay in damages. The court is said to be seeking a sum of around $250 million (£203 million).

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Donald Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland, the Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen and the former Open Championship course Turnberry. The 77-year-old has called for The Open to return to Turnberry but has been met with resistance by the R&A, which organises the historic event.

In total Trump owns 17 golf courses around the globe, including Doonbeg in Ireland, three in Florida, three in New York, two in Dubai and two in Indonesia.

While Trump struggles to persuade golf’s Majors to play on his sporting real estate there is no such problem with LIV Golf. The Saudi-funded breakaway golf league held its $50 million Grand Final at his National Doral Golf Club in Miami last month.

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