Donald Trump says that Scotland will help him become the next US president.

In an exclusive column in the Press & Journal, the entrepreneur said that he believes the battles he has fought over the Trump International Golf Links development in Aberdeenshire have helped his presidential campaign.

Mr Trump said that his experiences in Scotland had taught him lessons that are relevant to his 'current status politically'.

The course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire was opened in 2012 following a battle with environmental campaigners opposed to its construction of a course on protected sand dunes.

Figures published in October 2015 showed that the course had lost over £2m in 2014.

He said: "Let's just say I have had some experiences and lessons learned in Scotland that have helped my current status politically.

"When I first arrived on the scene in Aberdeen, the people of Scotland were testing me to see just how serious I was - just like the citizens in the United States have done about my race for the White House.

"I had to win them over - I had to convince them that I meant business and that I had their best interests in mind.

"Well, Scotland has already been won - and so will the United States."

Mr Trump said that there are a lot of parallels between his fight to build his golf course in Aberdeenshire and his US presidential campaign.

He added: "People laughed when they saw what I had planned for these spectacular 1,400 acres, and wasted no time in telling me I'd never ever get approvals to go ahead. Never ever.

"But it reminds me of the response I had when I announced my candidacy for the presidency of the United States in June of 2015.

"'Really!?' was about it.

"I saw the tide turn in Aberdeen when it became apparent that I was doing extensive research on environmental concerns and had hired the leading authorities on everything concerning this amazing land... Any mistrust was replaced by confidence in my ability as well as my dedication."

The US businessman also revealed that the golf course was a 'labour of love' that was created  in honour of his mother, who was born on the Isle of Lewis.

In his column in the Press and Journal he said: "I spent a great deal of money because this was, indeed, a labour of love for me.

"It honours my mother and has helped the economy of Scotland. My family and I are grateful to both Scotland and United States, and it feels good to give back."

Mr Trump said that his work in Aberdeenshire has shown he can produce results.

He added: "In Scotland, we worked together for the best results possible... I wish I could say the same about the state of affairs in the United States.

"But that's one reason I have been so determined in my quest for the Presidency - I know I can produce results, I know I can make a difference.

"I know it won't be easy, but Scotland wasn't easy either!"

The Republican US presidential hopeful came under fire in December 2015 after calling for a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US' in a campaign speech.

A petition calling for him to be banned from the UK was debated in the House of Commons after receiving over 500,000 signatures, with former First Minister Alex Salmond calling on the businessman to pull out of Turnberry golf course.

Pro-independence group RISE also announced plans to occupy the Trump International Hotel in Aberdeenshire in January 2016 following the Common's debate.

Earlier this year Mr Trump won a battle with residents living near his Aberdeenshire golf course after they accused him of flouting planning rules.