First Minister Alex Salmond was left unscathed by the Local Government and Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament when it quizzed him on the Trump affair on 16 and 23 January 2008 (for background see No 723).  Mr Salmond maintained that his meeting with the Trump team had been as constituency MSP, not as First Minister, and was backed up by Scottish Government chief planning officer Jim Mackinnon, who said (also giving evidence to the Committee) that calling in the planning application for a golfing development on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire was the only practical way forward” after an Aberdeenshire Council committee had rejected it when the council as a whole was clearly in favour.  Meantime Mr Trump said: “I hardly know Alex Salmond