Presidential contender Donald Trump arrived at his Turnberry golf resort in western Scotland on Thursday for the first day of the Women’s British Open, declaring ”the world has asked me to be here.”
On a short break from his election campaigning in the United States, the Republican landed Thursday in his private helicopter in front of the hotel at the luxurious resort he purchased last year to extend his portfolio of golf properties.
Trump, wearing a red hat emblazoned with his campaign slogan ”Make America Great Again,” was greeted by his son, Eric, before briefly answering questions from journalists ranging from his chances of becoming president to immigration and the migrant situation in Calais, France.
”I expect to be president,” said Trump, adding that he was delighted by polls that have him as the leading Republican candidate.
The billionaire celebrity businessman is set to be at the tournament for two days before returning to the campaign trail. He is expected to appear at a news conference later Thursday.
The Women’s British Open, the fourth of five major championships in women’s golf, is the first high-profile event to be staged at one of Trump’s properties since his disparaging comments about Mexicans during his presidential campaign announcement last month. Trump said that some Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime to the U.S., and some are rapists.
That was one of a slew of provocative remarks by Trump over the past month, which has seen the real estate mogul command lots of media attention and attract rising poll numbers.
”Illegal immigration is a huge subject,” Trump said on the steps in front of the hotel. ”I brought it to the fore and everybody is thanking me for it.”
Although most golfers have kept their thoughts to themselves about a man who has injected much of his fortune into the sport, Michelle Wie – one of the star’s of the women’s tour – said this week she believes Trump’s presence at Turnberry will distract from the competition.
That doesn’t seem to be a concern for Trump, however.
”Everybody has asked me to be here,” Trump said. ”The world has asked me to be here.”