Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shot down reports on Tuesday that Trump might flee to his Scotland golf club during Joe Biden‘s inauguration later this month, saying that he will not get special treatment under the country’s coronavirus rules.
“I have no idea what Donald Trump’s travel plans are,” Sturgeon told a gathering of reporters after she was asked about allowing him to visit one of his luxury golf clubs.
“I hope and expect … that the travel plan immediately that he has is to exit the White House,” Sturgeon said, in a nod to Trump’s ongoing struggle with the reality of his election loss.
Sturgeon imposed a strict lockdown on Scotland beginning at midnight on Tuesday, when everyone will be required to stay at home except for essential purposes due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now,” Sturgeon said Tuesday in response to the question about Trump.
“That would apply to him just as it applies to everybody else, and coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose.”
Trump has not announced his plans for the day of Jan. 20, when he will no longer be president. His public comments have largely been focused on trying to overturn the election he lost by 74 votes in the Electoral College, and by more than 7 million in the popular vote.
Reports in December suggested that Trump might hold his own rally during the inauguration, surrounding himself with supporters for the moment when he is no longer president, but speculation recently ramped up in Scottish media that Trump might flee the U.S. and ride out his final moments at a friendly foreign golf course.
The outgoing president typically participates in the new president’s inauguration ceremony, in a gesture meant to reinforce the peaceful transfer of power. Trump lauded that tradition when Barack Obama was present for his inauguration in 2017, but he has refused to commit to it as the loser in 2021.
The last ex-president who skipped his successor’s inauguration was Richard Nixon.
Trump owns more than a dozen golf courses around the world, including a few near his beloved Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. That means he’ll have plenty of options if he wants to escape reality for a few hours on inauguration day — though he likely won’t be able to escape the din of the news in the United States.
The White House denied any suggestions on Monday that Trump might be planning a trip to Scotland for Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration.
“Anonymous sources who claim to know what the president is or is not considering have no idea,” Judd Deere, the White House’s deputy press secretary, told Fox News. “When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20, he will let you know.”
Trump often criticized Obama for golfing during various international crises, though he himself has spent much of his presidency on the links.
Trump has spent 300 days at his golf course during his four-year term, according to tallies by Trump Golf Count and CNN. He was on the golf course on Nov. 7 when The Associated Press called Joe Biden as the election winner.
Trump’s presidency will end at noon Eastern Time on Jan. 20.