Updated Aug 21, 2019

Trump cancels Denmark visit over PM's Greenland comments

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.

Go deeper

Danes disgusted after Trump cancels visit over Greenland

President Trump and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's decision to cancel his state trip to Denmark after being told that Greenland is not for sale has caused a mix of anger and confusion among current and former Danish politicians.

The state of play: The president's decision "came as a surprise," the Royal House's communications director told Denmark's public broadcaster DR. "That's all we have to say about that."

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Tom Cotton defends Trump's idea to buy Greenland

Sen. Tom Cotton. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) argued Monday that acquiring Greenland "would secure vital strategic interests for the United States" in a New York Times op-ed.

Why it matters: Cotton cites China's interest in the island, especially given its proximity to North America and the Arctic, as reason that the U.S. should make a play for it. Greenland's abundance of rare-earth minerals — integral to high-tech manufacturing — also makes it attractive to China, which currently dominates the world market for such materials.

Go deeperArrowAug 26, 2019

China trade war: White House clarifies Trump comments about "second thoughts"

President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit in France. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Pool/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham clarified remarks that President Trump made at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, in which he appeared to express regret about the United States' escalating trade war with China.

"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China.' His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."
Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019