I THANK David Stubley (Letters, July 18) for his kind remark about my past letters on this page and note his displeasure with my most recent one about Donald Trump (July 17), in which I described the President as a "nasty, spoilt brat". I can assure Mr Stubley that my opinion of Mr Trump has been formed not from any fake news about him, but from the words he himself has written and spoken.

Mr Stubley makes claims about the views and actions of the four Congresswomen of colour whom Donald Trump abused. Where did Mr Stubley get those stories? Presumably from the same media he attacks for misrepresenting Mr Trump. I don’t believe everything I read in the press and recognise that stories are often written for maximum effect; but there have been innumerable occasions when Mr Trump has tweeted or said vulgar, abusive and offensive comments. On this most recent occasion, he used the language of white supremacy, of racism. If Mr Trump felt his initial comments have been misinterpreted, he’s had ample opportunity to clarify them, but he has chosen instead to double down with more rude and venomous remarks.

I’ll accept Mr Stubley’s admonition for my description of Mr Trump’s personality. I should have remembered Michelle Obama’s advice that “when they go low, we go high”. The four Congresswomen attacked by Mr Trump have followed that advice and have been restrained in their response. In part that’s maybe because it’s harder for people of colour to attack racism as they then get accused of "playing the race card". It’s easier for me, as a white male, as it is for leading Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who described Mr Trump’s words as “racist and xenophobic”.

So I apologise if my description of Mr Trump offended Mr Stubley, I probably wrote in anger. My wife is an immigrant as is our daughter-in-law, and both are from ethnic minorities. For all the temporary difficulties that migration can cause, I think immigration is overwhelmingly a positive thing – it certainly has been for me. So, when I hear a public figure expressing grossly racist views, I do get angry, and I sure am angry with Mr Trump. He is the one playing a racist card and, in a nation with such a troubled history on race as America, his words will have profound consequences, none of them good.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

DAVID Stubley is ill-informed. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her testimony on oath to the House Committee hearings on the infamous child separation policy in the camps on the Mexican border. This is not something you can just dismiss as "a complete fabrication" – if it was she would be liable to criminal charges. It is the testimony of these brave women that Donald Trump is so furious about – because it is an attack on his precious Wall. To counter this, he makes the most awful personal attacks on them, with unjustified accusations unworthy of any President.

This makes sense to him because it plays to his supporters, who admire a populist demagogue who wants to "Make America White Again" (as noted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi). He is not racist by conviction, he is instead a very dangerous opportunist. He does not worry that he is causing deep divisions in society and rousing the sort of feelings and antipathy that have previously led to civil war; he appears to see it solely in terms of rousing his supporters to vote for him and, of course, to distract from bad news about his past actions and attitudes to women.

Meanwhile the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, stays silent on the issue, paralysed by the fear of annoying a very polarised electorate. Alas, in this country similar trends are becoming evident; the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson keeps quiet about some of the more extreme statements by the Brexit Party, while the Labour Party suppresses criticism of anti-Semitic speakers within the party. Where are the great leaders of the past, who could lead public opinion on these complex issues, and unite people rather than divide them? Alas, when people put their faith in demagogues and depend for their news on blogs and social media chat rooms, party systems that were devised for a former age are showing themselves unable to cope.

Peter MD Gray, Aberdeen AB 15.

RESPONDING to a question on the 10 O'clock News on the BBC (July 17) relating to Donald Trump’s comments about telling people of colour to go back home, Jeremy Hunt said: “I’ve got three half-Chinese children and it would be totally unacceptable to me or my wife if anyone ever told them to go back to China.”

This crass answer blew me away, when I thought of the number of people in Scotland who have been threatened with deportation, or have been deported, by his Government.

So Mr Hunt thinks it’s unacceptable if it applies to his family, but not for others. The world he and his Tory colleagues live in is full of nasty hypocrisy.

Dennis White, Lanark.