According to a distant cousin who does not like President Donald Trump, he has not donated any money to the town in Scotland where his mother grew up, but his sister and mother did.
That failure to donate led to what the president might call a “nasty” article in The National, a newspaper in Scotland, entitled “Scottish cousin unmasks Donald Trump as ‘pancake thief.’ That story was, in turn, picked up and reported on by Newsweek.
“A relative of President Donald Trump has accused the self-proclaimed billionaire of being a pancake thief, having stolen a handful of flat cakes while on vacation at his late mother’s former home in Scotland,” begins the story “Donald Trump Stole Pancakes and Forgot a Relative Was Dead While Visiting Family, Cousin Claims,” by David Brennan of Newsweek.
The cousin, Alice Mackay, who is 79, said she is related to Trump through his mother’s family, the McLeods. She said Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, who died in 2000, and his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, now 82, “were both generous people who made many contributions to the Isle of Lewis, an island located in Scotland’s far northern Outer Hebrides archipelago.”
But Trump himself “is an unpleasant man who has never used any of his wealth to help his mother’s local community,” Brennan wrote, citing Mackay.
The president “had lovely parents. I don’t know what went wrong with him. My mum and dad were second cousins. Every time they were over here, they came to ours for dinner.”
Trump’s mother left her hometown in 1930 at the age of 17 and moved to New York, where she met his father and got married six years later.
Trump visited his mother’s hometown of Tong in 2008, and, according to Mackay, spent exactly 97 seconds in the house where she was raised with her nine siblings. The story in the National says only that Trump stayed less than two minutes. Newsweek doesn’t say how it knows his time there down to the second.
On another visit, Mackay “recalled … when the future president committed two social faux pas in quick succession,” Brennan wrote for Newsweek. “’He was here one morning, I was busy making pancakes, and he had forgotten my husband had died,’ she said. ‘He put a few pancakes in his pocket and never said ‘cheerio’ or anything.’”
After this, Brennan wrote: “The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment regarding the allegation of theft.”
Also during that 2008 visit, Brennan wrote, Trump said he had been “very busy – I am building jobs all over the world – and it’s very, very tough to find the time to come back. But this just seemed an appropriate time because I have the plane. I’m very glad I did, and I will be back again.”
But he has not been back, and he has not stroked a check. Meanwhile, according to Brennan, his mother “retained her links with the isolated community, donating funds to help construct a village hall in the 1970s.” His sister later donated almost $200,000 for a care home and hospice in Stornoway, the largest city on the Isle of Lewis.
She visited frequently, Brennan wrote, and “spoke the traditional Gaelic language when she did, according to the BBC.”
For that, Mackay said the sister “was lovely.”
During Trump’s trip there in 2008, he met with a delegation from the local council to talk about plans to convert Lews Castle into a hotel and museum. Trump said he would look at it,” but has never gotten back in touch with the officials, Newsweek wrote.