A former Aberdeen University student is tipped to become the ambassador to the European Union for the President of the United States.
Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, known as Ted, is reportedly President Donald Trump’s preferred choice for the high-powered role.
Speaking to the Press and Journal last night, Professor Malloch fondly remembered his student days in the Granite City and said he is proud to wear a kilt to show his Scottish heritage.
Born to an influential Philadelphia family, the 64-year-old moved to Scotland and completed his Masters of Literature at Aberdeen University in 1975.
He has since had two sons who have followed in his footsteps and attended the ancient university and have remained in the city to work in oil and gas.
Following President Trump’s surprise election win last November, the Henley Business School academic and author of numerous articles, was first tipped for the powerful role early this month.
But his possible appointment has proven controversial among European leaders as he has previously said he had held a diplomatic post where he helped bring down the Soviet Union.
He also hinted he felt that the EU needs a “little taming”.
In a wide-ranging interview, Prof Malloch said he felt a bilateral trade deal between Britain and the US was likely.
And he said he had a strong love of Scotland and Aberdeen, having even lived as a student in one of the most exclusive streets in the city. He said: “My grandfather was born in Perthshire so I have a very strong Scottish connection. I have always been enchanted by all things Scottish.
“I could have gone to any of the four ancient universities but Aberdeen was my choice because it had a more suitable programme.
“I have many fond memories of the place, I lived at 27 Rubislaw Den North which I think was originally the Earl Marischal’s house.
“There were 17 of us altogether there and I was the only American so I got my first chance as a diplomat at an early age.
“I was driving a red Triumph at the time, it was the start of the oil boom when there were Texans driving Cadillac through the streets. The cars were physically too big for the streets.
“I have since been back often. I think it’s a truly excellent place.”
Prof Malloch said he was “hopeful” Mr Trump would select him as the ambassador to the EU but said it was “in the president’s hands”.
His possible appointment has sparked anger among some European leaders.
And the parliament’s conservative, socialist and liberal political parties have written to the European Commission and the European Council to express their displeasure.
He said: “I think that Britain will not be damaged from Brexit. The economy is doing well… And I think we will see a bilateral UK/US trade agreement.
“Nobody knows exactly how Article 50 will work out and there are all kinds of opinions on that. ”
He added that there had been leaks that the French government were looking to “punish” the UK and were looking to “steal” the important financial services sector.
He added: “There are other issues too. When you look at defence spending the other Nato partners need to step up and pay their fair share. The UK does but others must.”
When quizzed on the prospect of another referendum on Scottish independence, he said: “I’m a long-term supporter of Scotland, I wear my kilt with pride and feel authentically Scottish.
“But, I don’t see the economic viability of an independent Scotland.”
Former city council leader Barney Crockett, who went to Aberdeen University just prior to Mr Malloch, said the diplomat’s standing showed the “prestige” of the ancient university.
He said: “I often say that people in the city don’t quite realise the reputation we have.
“While I might not agree with his politics all the time, I do think it’s a good reflection on the university and the city that alumni have risen so far in world politics.”