He is the target of protests across Scotland – but that didn’t stop Donald Trump talking about his fondness for the land of his mother’s birth after his plane landed at Prestwick airport on Friday night.

Ever one to make an entrance, the US President arrived an hour later than expected as Air Force One touched down.

Hundreds of protesters and plane spotters could be seen across the tarmac, waiting for a glimpse of the presidential aircraft as it landed at around 8.20pm.

Reporters and photographers waiting on the tarmac were only treated to a glimpse as Mr Trump left the plane with First Lady Melania Trump and entered the presidential car, resplendent with US and Scottish flags.

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He also met David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary of State, as he left the plane.

Mr Mundell said of the meeting: “I wanted to make it clear that he was being welcomed to Scotland as the President of the United States, that we value the strong relationship he has between Scotland and the United States of America.”

And according to the Scottish Secretary, Mr Trump was quick to talk about his deep affection for Scotland.

“Mr Trump said that he had been in Scotland many times before, he was very pleased to be here as President,” he said.

“He obviously feels very strongly about his mother’s Scottish heritage and he’s looking forward to playing golf at Turnberry.

"I know it to be the case that people in and around the Turnberry area and in the hotel complex do very much welcome the investment that he’s put in to the hotel and the refurbishment of the course.”

It is thought the President will spend the weekend playing golf at the £34 million Turnberry golf resort.

His mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was born in the village of Tong before emigrating to New York in the 1930s, though many family members still reside on the Hebridean island.

However, it is unlikely Mr Trump will visit his “ancestral” home on Lewis.

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Earlier, motorcades of police could be seen patrolling the nearby roads, while swathes of Scottish police officers appeared at intervals around the perimeter of the airport.

Two grey US Air Force jets were at one point parked on the runway, while Police Scotland helicopters were out in force.

As part of the massive security operation, men in black suit jackets were spread across the vast areas of tarmac.

Also visible on the runway were what appeared to be three armed guards on a scaffold tower.

Mr Trump’s visit has been criticised over the high security costs involved, including an estimated £5million to keep him safe in Scotland.

Mr Mundell said: “Unfortunately these days, there’s always going to be this very high degree of security required and that comes at a cost.

“But our relationship with the United States is really important economically, culturally, tourism-wise, so I’m sure this will be a productive visit.”

Commenting on the protests that Mr Trump had provoked across Scotland and the UK, Mr Mundell added: “We have an open democracy here, people are entitled to say what they want and convey whatever message that they want.

“That’s the great thing about our country, it’s an open democracy and everyone is entitled to have their say.”

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Mr Trump, a billionaire, has frequently crossed the Atlantic to promote his properties in Scotland and has also spoken fondly of his family ties to the country.

On his last visit he visited Trump International Golf Links at Menie in 2016 when he reopened it after a revamp.