Donald Trump calls Nicola Sturgeon for ‘brief introductory’ talk

0
44

Nicola Sturgeon at first minister’s questions this week. Photograph: Andrew MacColl/Rex/Shutterstock

Donald Trump and Nicola Sturgeon have spoken for the first time since the US election. The president-elect called Scotland’s first minister on Friday for what aides described as “a brief introductory conversation”.

According to a Scottish government statement, Sturgeon and Trump discussed “the longstanding relationship between Scotland and the United States”.

“The first minister offered her congratulations and, reflecting on the letter she sent him following the election, expressed her belief in the values Scotland and the United States share.”

Immediately following Trump’s shock election victory last month, and echoing other Scottish party leaders’ misgivings about the result, Sturgeon said she was “not prepared to be a politician that maintains a diplomatic silence in the face of racism, misogyny or hatred of any kind”.

The US election result has particular significance in Scotland, where Trump’s heaviest overseas spending has taken place on two prominent golf resorts, in Aberdeenshire and in Ayrshire. He has had a volatile relationship with locals and with the former first minister Alex Salmond, as well as engaging in a lengthy legal wrangle over a windfarm development off the coast of his Aberdeenshire course.

Addressing the Holyrood chamber at first minister’s questions two days after the US election, Sturgeon described some of the views expressed by Trump during his campaign as “deeply abhorrent”, and argued: “There is no doubt whatsoever that many people feel economically alienated, but we must never allow those legitimate concerns to give a veneer of respectability to racism, misogyny and intolerance.”

But she also insisted that, while she regretted the result, she respected the decision of the American people and wanted to engage “positively and constructively” with the next US administration.

Days later she formally wrote to Trump to congratulate him on his victory, and again emphasised the longstanding ties between Scotland and the US.

Sturgeon stripped Trump of his honorary role as a Scottish business ambassador last year, after his attack on Mexicans and Muslims, describing his rhetoric as “obnoxious and offensive”.