Trump in secret talks with the Duke of Buccleuch

Thursday April 1st 2021

Dalkeith-Country-Park-Palace-Restoration-Yard

Written by Midlothian View reporter James Laydown.

Donald Trump is in secret talks with the Duke of Buccleuch to purchase Dalkeith Country Park to house his Presidential library.

By convention presidential libraries are built for a president when they leave office and each time they are placed in a different state. As Donald Trump was the 45th president this only leaves six states in which to place his library.

The former president is not happy with the selection of states as all six voted heavily against him in the election last November. The convention defying president is now planning on building his library in Scotland, a place he calls his ancestral home.

His mother Mary MacLeod was born in Scotland and the country has remained close to his heart ever since.

Midlothian View learnt of the talks this week when the Duke accidentally copied the editor into email correspondence with the former president. The lengthy email thread over several months shows how far advanced the purchase talks are.

The president first met the Duke of Buccleuch in 1990 and the two men have kept in touch since. Donald Trump has proposed a ‘mega house swap’ with the Duke getting the penthouse suite of the Trump Tower building in Washington and in return he gets the Duke’s historic Dalkeith Country Park including the ancient Dalkeith Palace. The ex-president is keen to own a palace having been very impressed when he was entertained by the Queen at Buckingham Palace during his state visit.

According to the email the deal talks have progressed well and are almost complete. Mr Trump describes having had conference calls with the Midlothian Council Chief Executive and the leaders of the three political parties. He refers to the talks with ‘Gracie, Dirk, Katie and Big Pete’ as having been very successful. In his trademark hyperbole he says ‘they love me over there. I am going to be big there, so bigly.’

Mr Trump, the keen golfer, is also delighted that the deal will come with its very own golf course. The Duke of Buccleuch owns the land on which Newbattle Golf Course is built upon and the club leases the ground from him. The president mentions in his email that he plans to rename the course ‘Trump Newbattle.’

Mr Trump also describes how when he was younger he would visit the Dalkeith area on holiday with his parents. Being from New York the Trumps used to enjoy swapping the sweltering heat of Manhattan for the sunny but cooler temperatures of Midlothian. Donald Trump describes happy memories of learning to play golf on the ‘wonderful links of Newbattle.’

The one push back the president has had is with Midlothian Council’s planning department. They have apparently objected to plans to build a Trump Tower in Dalkeith. Peter Arnsdorf, Midlothian Chief Planning Officer has said

“A tall skyscraper would not be in keeping with the historic charm of Jarnac Court.”

The opening of the Presidential Library as one would expect is planned to be a lavish affair. With echoes of the parade Mr Trump received in Paris during his presidency he is planning his own parade down what he has dubbed ‘Midlothian’s Royal Mile.’ A procession of military horses and soldiers preceding Mr Trump’s golden carriage will start at Eskbank Toll and end up at Dalkeith Palace.

Workmen were spotted this week at Eskbank Toll and it is understood they were American Secret Service personnel planning how to secure the route.

Both the President’s office and the Duke have declined to comment but it is understood Mr Trump has pencilled in the parade to start next year on Friday 1st April at 12 noon.

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