Sturgeon says Trump victory will not affect ties with US

New president-elect Donald Trump gives a speech during election night in New York. Picture: Getty
New president-elect Donald Trump gives a speech during election night in New York. Picture: Getty
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NICOLA Sturgeon has said Scotland’s ties with America will continue despite Donald Trump’s 
victory.

But she urged the new US president to reach out to those who felt “marginalised” by his campaign.

The First Minister said: “While this is not the outcome I hoped for, it is the verdict of the American people and we must respect it. I congratulate president-elect Trump on winning the election.

“We value our relationship with the United States and its people. The ties that bind Scotland and the US – of family, culture and business – are deep and longstanding and they will always endure.”

Mr Trump – who confounded pollsters and pundits by winning a string of battleground states to emerge victorious over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton – said it was now “time for all Americans to bind the wounds of division”.

President Barack Obama later revealed he had invited the billionaire businessman, who has never previously held any elected office, to the White House today to discuss the process leading to the formal handover of power in January.

Conceding defeat, Mrs Clinton congratulated Mr Trump and offered to work with him. She urged her supporters: “We must accept this result. Donald Trump is going to be president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

But she vowed to continue to defend the values of equal rights. She said: “The American dream is big enough for everyone. For people of all races, religions, for men and women, for immigrants for LGBT people, and people with disabilities – for everyone.”

Mr Trump, who has been a figure of controversy in Scotland because of his Menie estate golf resort in Aberdeenshire, had his status as a “Global Scot” ambassador removed by Nicola Sturgeon last year.

After yesterday’s result, she said it was normal in any election for those on the losing side to feel disappointment, but many in America and across the world also felt “a real sense of anxiety”.

She continued: “I hope the president-elect will take the opportunity to reach out to those who felt marginalised by his campaign and make clear – in deeds as well as words – that he will be a president for everyone in modern, multicultural America.”

Ms Sturgeon said she was disappointed that Hillary Clinton would not be America’s first woman president.

But she added: “Her candidacy represented a major step forward for women in America and across the world – for that, as well as for her many years of public service, she is owed a deep debt of gratitude.”

Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated Mr Trump. Asked if he was a fit person to be president and someone she could work with, she said: “Yes, I look forward to working with president-elect Trump. I look forward to building on the special relationship of our two countries.”

But Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was outspoken in her comments on the result:

She said: “Like countless people in Scotland, the UK, and across the globe I watched with great sadness as the results from the presidential election came in.

“While we must all respect the result of this democratic contest, this is a dark day for those of us who believe in compassion, tolerance and equality.

“Donald Trump was responsible for a hate-filled campaign that was dominated by lies, misogyny and racism. As president-elect, he now has a responsibility to America and the world to heal the deep divisions he has caused.

“Across the US, there will be women, gay people and Muslims who will now be incredibly worried about the direction of their country, but there will also be countless working-class Americans who will be hurting today. They all need reassurances that I very much hope will be forthcoming from the Republican Party.”

Ms Dugdale said she was “heartbroken” that Hillary Clinton had lost. “I believe she would have been a great president – the most qualified female presidential candidate ever has been defeated by the least-qualified male candidate ever.

“But the United States and Scotland share a rich history and friendship between our people. That will not be swept away by one election result.”

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the result was not the one she wanted. But she went on: “We now have to hope that President Trump turns out to be a different man to candidate Trump.

“Mr Trump tapped into the disaffection we are seeing across the world right now due to economic uncertainty. That’s not something we can ignore.

“Those of us who believe open, western values are the best way to provide economic security for people now have to redouble our efforts to show they deliver for people.”

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, called on Ms Sturgeon to “make clear” that despite winning the presidency Mr Trump was not welcome in Scotland.

He said: “The election of a racist, sexist bully to the White House is profoundly depressing and will be ringing alarm bells across the world.

“Scots have been clear in their distaste for Trump and the First Minister has echoed those feelings.

“Although Nicola Sturgeon has said the ties between Scotland and the US will endure, she must be clear that a racist, sexist bully is not welcome in Scotland even if he is US President.

“We cannot allow such a dangerous and deluded individual to have his behaviour normalised out of diplomacy. He needs to get the message from Scotland loud and clear that he will not be extended any courtesies as he has shown zero respect himself.”

As well as seeing their candidate elected to the presidency, the Republicans also won control of both the senate and the House of Representatives.

Mr Trump secured his victory with a series of close wins in crucial states where Republican nominees had not won since 2004, including Florida and Ohio. The result prompted protest demonstrations in several cities across the country.