In a Forbes Magazine interview, Trump compared his two-golf course project, which includes development on scientifically sensitive dunes in Aberdeenshire, to "ripping down a landmark building in New York."
He then failed the test of knowing what the Scottish designation SSSI -- site of special scientific interest -- meant, the Scotsman reported.
It means, "scientifically important something," Trump said.
He then predicted, "I'm going to get it," referring to approval for the project, which also includes a 450-room hotel, 950 vacation homes, 36 golf villas and 500 homes, the paper reported.
The application has already created a stir. When it was rejected by a local review board, Trump declined to appeal the decision. Finance Secretary John Swinney then took the unprecedented step of granting the application a government review.
A parliamentary panel criticized Swinney for meeting independently with Trump representatives.
Some called Trump's statements arrogant. But Conservative MSP David McLetchie, said "it's no surprise" Trump feels confident.
"Donald Trump is a gambler, but this time he is backing a racing certainty," McLetchie said.