The White House is denying rumors President Donald Trump tried to plan a trip to his golf course in Scotland on the last day of his presidency.
The denial comes after growing speculation caused leaders in Scotland to make public comments saying they are currently on lockdown, and that golf is not a reason for essential travel.
“We are not allowing people to come into Scotland now without an essential purpose, which would apply to him, just as it applies to everybody else. Coming to play golf is not what I would consider an essential purpose,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon when asked about any potential Trump travel plans.
“I have no idea what Donald Trump’s travel plans are, you’ll be glad to know,” Sturgeon added.
The speculation started in November, according to the Washington Post, when U.S. military aircraft was reported circling Trump’s Turnberry golf resort. The aircraft made a number of flights over the property, reportedly, and is typically used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Then, on January 3, the Sunday Post in Scotland reported a nearby airport was “told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft, that is occasionally used by Trump, on January 19.”
The paper said aircraft used by the president, first lady, and vice president are given a special call sign instead of a tail number to make it easier for air traffic control to track them. The paper’s source said the information the airport was given about the January 19th flight is “normally used by the Vice-President but often used by the First Lady.”
A statement from White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany says reports about Trump heading to Turnberry in January are “not accurate. President Trump has no plans to travel to Scotland,” reports the Washington Post.
White House spokesman Judd Deere added, “When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20 he will let you know.”
Trump has not said whether he will attend the inauguration on January 20. Traditionally the outgoing president attends the event.
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England are all under lockdown with stay-at-home orders stretching over the next several weeks. People are only allowed to leave home for essential work, shopping for essential needs, or medical appointments.
Coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom have skyrocketed in recent weeks, filling hospitals with patients with a newly identified variant of the virus. The so-called UK variant is 50-to-70 percent more transmissible, however it does not appear to cause more severe symptoms.