Donald Trump snapped back Wednesday at the Danish prime minister’s “nasty” dismissal of his attempts to purchase Greenland, heightening a row which has already prompted the US president to scrap a state visit.
Hours after announcing he would not visit Copenhagen next month as planned, Trump accused Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of insulting the United States as a whole by rejecting talk of buying Greenland as “absurd.”
Trump -- who made his name as a New York property mogul -- has characterized his idea of buying Greenland as essentially “a large real estate” deal, arguing it is a burden on Denmark as the autonomous territory’s economy depends heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he was not the first US president to have raised the idea of buying the vast Arctic island which has housed an American air base since even before it became formally a part of Denmark.
“Greenland was just an idea, just a thought. But I think when they say it was ‘absurd’ -- and it was said in a very nasty, very sarcastic way -- I said, ‘We’ll make it some other time,’” Trump said.
Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became part of the Danish Realm, and it gained “autonomous territory” status in 1979.
The government of Greenland has insisted that the island is “not for sale” and Frederiksen told reporters on Wednesday that she fully endorsed that view.