President Donald Trump has never been shy about his Scottish heritage. “I have a special relationship with Scotland because of my mother,” he said during a 2008 visit to the country.
Trump's mother, Mary Anne Macleod, was born in 1912 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. But despite being half Scottish, the president earns few Lewis Islanders words of support. Most of the locals VICE News spoke to said his values and character are the antithesis of the their culture.
“He doesn't behave like somebody from the Hebrides would behave. He's like a spoiled child who should have had his bum smacked when he was young,” said Don John McSween, a community developer.
Local councilor John Maciver, whose ward contains the president’s ancestral village of Tong, believes Trump’s immigration policy is somewhat hypocritical given that he's an immigrant himself.
"His father's from Germany, his mother from Lewis,” Maciver told VICE News. "The true islanders probably do feel a wee bit proud that one of our sons is the most powerful man in the world.”
During the 20th century, English became the lingua franca on Lewis. But it’s one of the few places in Scotland where Gaelic is still widely spoken. So we asked the islanders to describe the American president in their mother tongue.
“Daoine annasach,” Maciver said, which translates to a "strange man" or "eccentric."
“Dearg amadan — a fool” was Don John McSween’s response.
Reverend James Maciver felt his pomposity could be best captured by the term “gaotha," which “basically means a windbag," he said. "So there's one for your dictionary.”
This segment originally aired May 31, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.