Donald Trump has claimed the late James Bond star Sir Sean Connery “stepped in” to help him get planning permission in order build a golf course in Scotland.

In tweets posted on Sunday, the US president paid tribute to the “legendary actor”, a keen golfer who died on Saturday aged 90, adding that he had “past (sic) on to even greener fairways”.

Calling the original 007 “quite a guy, and a tough character”, Mr Trump said Sir Sean “stepped in and shouted, ‘Let him build the damn thing'” when he was struggling to get planning permission for a controversial golf course at Turnberry.

Everything “went swimmingly from there”, Mr Trump added, before wishing “sincere condolences” to Connery’s family following the death of the “great actor”.

Mr Trump posted the tweets about Connery’s support just two days before the US presidential election, where he faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who leads him in the polls for the White House.

Connery had not publicly confirmed the claim previously, but it is not the first time Mr Trump has said the screen legend helped him win approval for the development.

The pair did know each other and were photographed together at several events in New York in the early 2000s.

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007 to Indiana Jones: Connery’s life in film

In 2018, Mr Trump was reported to have shared the tale with then-prime minister Theresa May over a meal with their partners at Blenheim Palace.

According to The Sunday Times, President Trump told Mrs May: “I met James Bond and I got all my approvals. James Bond was better than my approvals lawyer.”

US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport in Butler, Pennsylvania on October 31, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump paid tribute to the ‘legendary actor’ on Twitter

Last month, Mr Trump’s company won permission to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, overcoming environmental objections.

The president, who criticised predecessor Barack Obama for playing too much golf, has himself made more than 280 daytime visits to golf clubs since January 2017, according to trumpgolfcount.com, which logs his playing habits.

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden at a campaign canvas kickoff in Bloomfield Hills
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks as former U.S. President Barack Obama listens during a campaign canvas kickoff in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S., October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Joe Biden at a rally with former president Barack Obama

The website estimates the cost to the US taxpayer is $142m (£107m).

Mr Obama has been campaigning for Mr Biden, his former vice president, in the run-up to polling day.

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Obama joins Biden on campaign trail

Sir Sean died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday in Nassau, the Bahamas, where he had been “unwell for some time”, his son Jason said.

Another former Bond, Pierce Brosnan – who starred in four 007 films – said he would “cast a long shadow of cinematic splendour that will live on forever”.


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