It turns out that Donald Trump’s mother was a poor Scottish immigrant who came to the U.S. seeking a better life — which contradicts the tale told by the billionaire real estate developer and presidential candidate.
Trump has said his mother, born Mary Anne Macleod, met his American-born father while on holiday — but a report Saturday by The National revealed she actually had emigrated legally to the U.S. May 11, 1930, one day after her 18th birthday, with just $50 in her purse.
Three of her sisters had already come to the U.S., and Trump’s mother lived on Long Island until marrying Fred Trump in January 1936.
Trump has cousins who still live in Tong, pronounced Tongue, the village where his mother grew up, and which he has visited several times — but The National found few relatives or residents willing to claim the Republican presidential candidate as one of their own.
“Usually around here people say they knew an aunt or uncle or a grandfather of somebody, but not many people claim that connection with Donald Trump,” said villager Brian Jones. “Not many people are remotely interested in him.”
Two of Trump’s cousins live in a newer home that replaced the original 1860 croft house where Trump’s mother and her eight siblings had grown up, but neither of the cousins were willing to talk about their famous relative.
“We’re not talking to anybody,” one cousin told the newspaper, which noted the statement was made politely.
One resident said there had been some local talk about Trump and his roots on the Isle of Lewis, but that was mostly about money.
“There’s a lot of people looking forward to the research that is being done into his relatives because they think there might be a fortune in it, and everyone will be claiming to be a relative of Donald Trump,” said Calum MacLeod, who is not related to Trump’s mother.
MacLeod said he doubted Trump’s claims about funding his own presidential campaign.
“He is supposed to be paying for the campaign himself, but is he really?” MacLeod said. “It’s an awful lot of money to bet on what most people would think is a shaky wicket for him.”
Trump visited the village several times growing up, and he went back — for a three-hour visit — in 2008 to explore possible investment opportunities in Tong, saying, “I feel Scottish.”
“He was here for about 15 minutes a while back and he said he would be back, but he has never been back, said Christine MacDonald. “I notice he has calmed down a bit in the last week or two, but he is still a bit of a blabbermouth.”
Trump decided not to invest in Tong and instead developed a golf resort more than 300 miles away, in Turnberry.
Villagers said they weren’t all that impressed by Trump as a businessman, political candidate or person.
“People here like proof, and anything less than that is suspect,” said Tim Durbin. “There would certainly be lots of talk about him after he left, but the talk would be subdued and the laughter gentle.”
Residents said the new report about Trump’s mother wasn’t all that surprising, even if it contradicted what her celebrity son has been telling people most of his life.
“You proved what they knew all along: that she emigrated in search of a better life, like so many people did at that time,” said Donald MacLeod — who made sure to point out that he was unrelated to Trump.