Politicians in Denmark quickly pushed back on reports that President Trump has expressed interest to his aides about the possibility of purchasing Greenland from the country.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the president has reportedly asked aides in private about the possibility of purchasing the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory. Two advisers told the newspaper that the president asked them and other advisers at dinners and in passing conversations whether such a purchase would be possible, listening intently when they talked about its resources and geopolitical importance.
“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger said, according to Reuters.
Lawmakers from two of Denmark’s major political parties slammed the idea in statements to Reuters and a Danish broadcaster. A former U.S. ambassador referred to news of the situation as a “disaster.”
“I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term,” said Danish MP Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, of the Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party, according to Reuters.
“My immediate thought is ‘No, thank you,’ ” she continued.
A spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, a right-leaning conservative party, called the plan “ridiculous.”
“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” spokesman Soren Espersen told broadcaster DR, according to Reuters.
“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous,” he reportedly added.
“Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there 9 times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe,” wrote former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford.
“I was Ambassador to Denmark which means I was Ambassador to Greenland. It is remarkably pristine and complex. A place unlike any other corner of the planet. It simply must be handled with immense care and the best intentions for the people there and the global climate,” he added. “If anyone believes Trump has either in mind, please reconsider your reality.”