Updated Aug 21, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump cancels Denmark visit over PM's Greenland comments

US President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump responded to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen‘s message to the United States that Greenland is not for sale by tweeting Tuesday evening that he's postponing their scheduled meeting. A White House spokesman later clarified that the president's entire trip to Denmark had been canceled, per AP.

What she's saying: Frederiksen told Danish media Sunday it's an "an absurd discussion" and that the territory is not for sale, according to a Reuters translation.

"Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously."

The big picture: Greenland has self-rule, but it is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. When asked if he wanted to buy the world's largest island that's not a continent, Trump told reporters, "We're looking into it ... It is not No.1 on the burner."

  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told ”Fox News Sunday" the situation was "developing," noting that Trump "knows a thing or two about buying real estate."

Background: Trump was due to visit Denmark on Sept. 2 and 3, Denmark's Royal Court previously announced. A spokeswoman told AP Wednesday she was "surprised" Trump had cancelled the entire visit to Denmark.

  • The White House had said the president and First Lady Melania Trump would visit Denmark as well as Poland as part of their trip, having accepted an invitation to meet with Queen Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark and they planned to attend bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders.
"The President and First Lady's visits will highlight the historic ties between the United States, Poland, and Denmark, as well as our willingness to confront the region's many shared security challenges."
— White House statement, July 31

Go deeper: The great game comes to Greenland

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest comments from Trump, Denmark's Royal Court and the White House.

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