The Washington Post has quoted several unnamed sources as saying that US President Donald Trump has been talking about buying Greenland “for weeks”, and that he considered allocating substantial funds to the purchase.
Sources claimed that “senior administration officials had discussed the possibility of offering Denmark a deal in which the United States would take over its annual $600 million subsidy to Greenland in perpetuity.”
The claims come after Lene Balleby, head of communications at the Danish Royal House, said that Trump’s decision to postpone his official visit to Denmark, originally slated for September, came as “a surprise” to the royal family. Balleby did not elaborate on Trump’s reasoning behind the move.
With the Danish government yet to comment on the matter, former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt tweeted that Trump’s move was “deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”
So the POTUS has cancelled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland @BBCRadio4 Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.— Helle Thorning S (@HelleThorning_S) August 21, 2019
Earlier, Trump announced that his decision to postpone the visit to Denmark was caused by Danish Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen’s disinterest in “discussing the purchase of Greenland”.
The remarks came after Trump tweeted a photoshopped picture of a huge gold Trump Tower in Greenland, with a caption reading his pledge "not to do it to Greenland,” in an apparent nod to the media uproar prompted by last week’s reports about the US President expressing “strategic” interest in purchasing the Arctic nation.
I promise not to do this to Greenland! pic.twitter.com/03DdyVU6HA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen described Trump’s intention to buy Greenland as an “absurd discussion”.
“Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously,” she told the Greenland newspaper Sermitsiaq.
Greenland, which is home to fewer than 60,000 people, remains an autonomous region within Denmark, which has been in charge of the Arctic nation’s foreign affairs, military issues and constitutional matters since 1979.