The US Congress has been questioning whether Russian money could have been used to fund Donald Trump’s golf courses in the UK and Ireland.
It emerged after the permanent select committee on intelligence at the US House of Representatives released a transcript of the sworn testimony of the former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson. Simpson, who works for the consulting firm Fusion GPS, was asked to research then-presidential candidate Trump in 2015/16.
He told the committee that he had looked at the Trump golf courses in Scotlandand Ireland as part of his research. Asked whether he saw Russian money involved with them, he replied: “Well, we saw what Eric Trump [the second son of the president] said about Russian money being available for his golf – for the golf course projects, making remarks about having unlimited sums available.
“So we were able to get the financial statements. And they don’t, on their face, show Russian involvement, but what they do show is enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources and – or at least on paper it says it’s from the Trump Organisation, but it’s hundreds of millions of dollars.
“And these golf courses are just, you know, they’re sinks. They don’t actually make any money.
Donald Trump’s Scottish golf resorts suffer heavy losses
US president had to plough £1.3m into debt-ridden Aberdeenshire resort as oil price crash hit its popularity
Donald Trump’s loans to his golf resorts in Scotland have increased to more than £150m after their losses last year accelerated, partly because of the oil price crash and currency costs.
The latest accounts for his network of Scottish companies show he had to plough another £1.3m into his debt-ridden resort in Aberdeenshire to keep it afloat after the North Sea crisis saw its popularity slump among local golfers.
Trump’s much larger and better known golfing resort and hotel at Turnberry in Ayrshire, which he bought in 2014, has also suffered heavy losses, largely because of its partial closure for refurbishment and building works.