After Donald Trump publicly acknowledged his willingness to buy Greenland - and was instantly rebuffed by Denmark last week, many Republicans appeared to back his idea, including Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
Speaking with John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable" on AM 970 on Sunday, King claimed that aside from natural resources and strategic location, the island could be "the one way to stop the Russians".
"The very people who are yelling about Russia's influence – somehow suggesting that President Trump is involved with the Russians – this is one way to stop the Russians, to slow it down, and have more of a hold on Greenland. I have no problem with the president putting it on the table", he said.
King's comments were made shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican Senator Tom Cotton had claimed he floated the idea of acquiring Greenland last year and allegedly discussed it with Denmark's ambassador to the US before pitching it to Trump. The Danish envoy was allegedly "caught a little off guard", and the conversation "moved on".
The two congressmen are not alone in thinking that the purchase of the world's largest island from Denmark could mark a "complete game-changer" for the United States' foreign policy.
"Trump's approach may be wacky but it does send a serious message to Russia and China - don't mess with us on Greenland", the former head of the Danish Navy, Rear Admiral Nils Wang, told The Sunday Times.
A week ago, Trump confirmed his interest in buying Greenland, an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark, and said that he'd talk about it with Danish authorities.
Shortly thereafter, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen sent a clear message to the US president that Greenland was "not for sale", and called Trump's prospective territorial acquisition 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 said.
Following the prime minister's comments, Trump postponed a meeting with her, scheduled for Septemer, and called Frederiksen "nasty", for "all she had to do is say no, we wouldn't be interested".
However, a few days later they patched things up, with Trump telling reporters that he had a "great" phone conversation with the Danish prime minister and describing her as "a wonderful woman".
As the brief row between Denmark and the US was unfolding, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked to comment on Trump's offer last week. Despite Russia's interest in the Arctic, Peskov said Moscow did not engage in "international shopping of that kind" and "would like to stay away from that".
While Trump has been mocked for his eagerness to acquire Greenland, the idea is not new at all: in 1946, Denmark turned down a $100 million in gold offer made by then-US President Harry Truman.