Donald Trump's claim about Sir Sean Connery labelled 'silly'

President Donald Trump has paid his own tribute to the late James Bond star Sir Sean Connery, hailing him as a "great actor and an even greater man".

The controversial US president, who is up for re-election this week, added that the Scot was "so highly regarded" it had helped him win planning approval for a controversial development.

In 2007 Mr Trump's plans to build a luxury golf resort on the Menie Estate near Balmedie were thrown into disarray, when Aberdeenshire Council refused to grant him planning permission for the project.

The Scottish Government then "called in" the planning decision, and in November 2008 ministers approved the development, as they said it would have "significant economic and social benefit".

In a tweet the president said the involvement of the 007 star had been key to him getting the green light.

Mr Trump said: "The legendary actor, 007 Sean Connery, has past (sic) on to even greener fairways.

"He was quite a guy, and a tough character.

"I was having a very hard time getting approvals for a big development in Scotland when Sean stepped in and shouted, 'Let him build the damn thing'.

"That was all I needed, everything went swimmingly from there."

Trump's claim was quickly dismissed by those familiar with the deal.

Martin Ford, the councillor who was chair of the planning committee that initially refused Trump's application, told the Guardian: "Mr Connery was not involved in the due process that led to the granting of planning permission for a golf resort at Menie. He did not submit a letter of representation to the council, appear at the planning hearing, or at the public local inquiry."

Ex-Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said: "Scotland and much of the world is mourning the loss of a great spirit. Sean Connery's contribution and life's work was immense, real and lasting and everyone with an ounce of class is reflecting upon just that today. Tributes are great from all sources but this is not a time for tweeting silly claims or indeed responding to them."

David Milne, a near neighbour of the Trump golf course in Scotland, said the US president's claim was "utter b*llocks".

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Sean Connery
Kino. Marnie, Marnie, Marnie, Marnie, Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery Kurz nach der Hochzeit ertappt Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) seine Frau Marnie (Tippi Hedren), wie sie seinen Tresor ausräumt., 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Les acteurs Sean Connery, Jean-Paul Belmondo et Ursula Andress. (Photo by STILLS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Sean Connery stands behind Anthony Quayle in a scene from the film 'Tarzan's Greatest Adventure', 1959. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)
Sean Connery dans la foule, circa 1960. (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Another Time, ANOTHER PLACE, US lobbycard, from left: Lana Turner, Sean Connery, 1958. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Actors Sean Connery and Lana Turner in scene from movie Another Time, Another Place. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
Sean Connery on the set of the film "Action of the Tiger". November 1956 A357-005 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Sean Connery seen here in the BBC 1957 production of Requiem for a Heavy Weight March 1957 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Kino. Zardoz, 1970er, 1970s, Film, Mutter und Baby, Zardoz, breastfeeding, mother and baby, nursing, stillen, Zardoz, 1970er, 1970s, Film, Mutter und Baby, Zardoz, breastfeeding, mother and baby, nursing, stillen, Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling - Consuella (Charlotte Rampling) mißtraut dem Eindringling Zed (Sean Connery) zunächst., 1974. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Die Strohpuppe, Woman Of Straw, Die Strohpuppe, Woman Of Straw, Gina Lollobrigida, Sean Connery Anthony Richmond (Sean Connery) heuert die Krankenschwester Maria (Gina Lollobrigida) an, um seinen reichen, verkrueppelten Onkel zu pflegen., 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Zardoz, Zardoz, Zardoz, Zardoz, Sean Connery - Der Ex-Terminator Zed (Sean Connery) landet in einem Gebiet namens Vortex und verucht dort, das Geheimnis der unsterblichen Einwohner zu ergründen., 1974. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery Irini (Brigitte Bardot) verliebt sich in ihren Retter, den Trapper Shalako (Sean Connery). , 1968, Shalako, Western, Shalako. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Simson Ist Nicht Zu Schlagen, Fine Madness, A, Simson Ist Nicht Zu Schlagen, Fine Madness, A, Sean Connery, Joanne Woodward Als die dichterische Kraft des Frauenhelden und Schriftstellers Simson Shilitoe (Sean Connery) versiegt, kann ihm auch seine Frau Rhoda (Joanne Woodward) nicht mehr weiterhelfen. , 1966. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Der Mann, Der Koenig Sein Wollte, Man Who Would Be King, The, Der Mann, Der Koenig Sein Wollte, Man Who Would Be King, The, Sean Connery, Michael Caine Zwei Deserteure der viktorianischen Indien-Armee, Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery,m) und Peachy (Michael Caine,r) ziehen aus, um in Afganistan Koenige zu werden., 1975. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Explosion In Cuba, Cuba, Explosion In Cuba, Cuba, Sean Connery Der britische Ex-Major Robert Dapes (Sean Connery) kommt, 1959 nach Cuba, um das Batista-Regime im Kampf gegen Fidel Castro zu unterstuetzen., 1979. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Marnie, Marnie, Marnie, Marnie, Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren Die blonde Marnie (Tippi Hedren) leidet an Klepromanie und haßt alle Männer. Regelmäßig betrügt sie ihre Arbeitgeber um hohe Geldsummen und verschwindet. Ihr neuer Chef, der Verleger Mark Rutland (Sean Connery), kennt Marnies Vorgeschichte und versucht, ihr zu helfen, 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Das Geheimnis Der Verwunschenen Hoehle, Darby O'gill And The Little People, Das Geheimnis Der Verwunschenen Hoehle, Darby O'gill And The Little People, Sean Connery, Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro Dank einer Wette mit dem Koenig wird Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe,m) der Wunsch nach einem gluecklichen Leben fuer seine Tochter Katie (Janet Munro) und deren Liebsten Michael (Sean Connery,l) erfuellt., 1959. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Ein Haufen Toller Hunde, Hill, The, Ein Haufen Toller Hunde, Hill, The, Ian Hendry, Sean Connery Panzersoldat Joe Roberts (Sean Connery,r) wird in ein britisches Militärstraflager in der nordafrikanischen Wüste eingeliefert, wo der sadistische Sergant Williams (Ian Hendry) die Männer unentwegt quält und schindet., 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Der Anderson - Clan, Anderson Tapes, The, Der Anderson - Clan, Anderson Tapes, The, Sean Connery Nach 10 Jahren Knast plant Duke Anderson (Sean Connery,m) sofort einen neuen Coup., 1971. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Kino. Die Strohpuppe, Woman Of Straw, Die Strohpuppe, Woman Of Straw, ?, Sean Connery, Ralph Richardson, Gina Lollobrigida Aber Anthony (Sean Connery,2vl) hat nicht damit gerechnet, dass sich Maria (Gina Lollobrigida) tatsaechlich in seinen Onkel Charles (Ralph Richardson,2vr) verliebt., 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)
Sean Connery on the set of the film "Action of the Tiger". November 1956 A357 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
On The Fiddle, lobbycard, (aka OPERATION SNAFU), from left: Sean Connery, Alfred Lynch, Alan King, 1961. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Actor Sean Connery and actress Eunice Gayson on the set of "Dr No". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Sean Connery as James Bond and Daniela Bianchi in the 1963 film From Russia With Love. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery and Swiss actress Ursula Andress on the set of Dr. No, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, and directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Tailor Anthony Sinclair fitting Scottish actor Sean Connery for one of the suits he will wear in the film 'From Russia With Love', Mayfair, London, 1963. (Photo by United Artists/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Sean Connery pointing a gun up with his finger on the trigger in a scene from the film 'James Bond: From Russia With Love', 1963. (Photo by United Artist/Getty Images)
Daniela Bianchi and Sean Connery in a cargo train in a scene from the film 'James Bond: From Russia With Love', 1963. (Photo by United Artist/Getty Images)
Actor Sean Connery on the set of "Dr No". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
31st August 1962: Scottish actor Sean Connery, the new face of superspy James Bond, relaxes in his basement flat in London's NW8. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Sean Connery and Zena Marshal attend the Film Premiere of 'DR NO' James Bond 7th October 1962. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery, as fictional secret agent James Bond, hands a business card to British actress Eunice Gayson in a scene from the film 'Dr. No,' directed by Terence Young, 1962. (Photo by MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1964: Sean Connery at the airport Vienna-Schwechat. Photograph. 1964. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)
13th August 1963: Gina Lollobrigida stars with Sean Connery in 'Woman of Straw', directed by Basil Dearden. (Photo by Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images)
1963: Actors Ursula Andress and Sean Connery in a scene from 'Dr. No" directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery and Canadian actress Lois Maxwell on the set of From Russia with Love, directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery and Swiss actress Ursula Andress on the set of Dr. No, based on the novel by Ian Fleming, and directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery and Mexican actor Pedro Armendariz on the set of From Russia with Love, directed by Terence Young. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Portrait of James Bond actors Sean Connery and Honor Blackman, to promote the film 'Goldfinger', 1964. (Photo by Express/Getty Images)
Scottish actor Sean Connery as James Bond and German actor Gert Fröbe (1913 - 1988) as Auric Goldfinger in the film 'Goldfinger', 1964. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
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