President Donald Trump has reportedly expressed his desire to buy Greenland from the Danish government, with White House officials having already looked into the possibility.
Trump has reportedly brought up his interest in purchasing the autonomous Danish territory at dinners and meetings, and has asked aides about the potential benefits of owning Greenland.
The US president has even asked members of his White House counsel to research the matter for him. It is currently unclear how negotiations would be carried out.
This information was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which has heard from two sources how President Trump has repeatedly quizzed his advisers about buying Greenland with ‘varying degrees of seriousness’.
His aides are said to be somewhat divided on whether this is robust economic thinking or simply a curious flight of fancy. Some believe the purchase could be economically beneficial, while solidifying a legacy comparable to the 1867 US acquisition of Alaska from Russia.
According to The Wall Street Journal, President Trump spoke about the prospect of this purchase at ‘a dinner with associates last spring’:
Mr Trump said someone had told him at a roundtable that Denmark was having financial trouble over its assistance to Greenland, and suggested that he should consider buying the island, according to one of the people.
President Trump reportedly then proceeded to ask his fellow diners about their thoughts on the matter:
What do you guys think about that? […] Do you think it would work?
The source told The Wall Street Journal how the president’s pondering appeared to be more of a joke than a genuine line of questioning. The source also noted how President Trump seemed to be interested in Greenland on account of its natural resources.
Interestingly, Trump is not the first US politician to have his heart set on buying Greenland. As reported by CNN, President Harry S Truman allegedly attempted to purchase Greenland in 1946, while Secretary of State William Seward expressed interest in this endeavour way back in 1867.
However, some residents of Greenland aren’t too keen on the prospect of having their island home bought by the US, with Greenlandic politician Aaja Chemnitz Larsen tweeting, ‘No thanks to Trump buying Greenland!’
Larsen instead encouraged Danish authorities to instead work towards a ‘more equal partnership’ with Greenland, ultimately granting it independence.
Nej tak til at Trump skal købe Grønland! Tværtimod bør et bedre og mere ligeværdigt partnerskab med Danmark være vejen frem for et stærkere og på sigt mere frit Grønland
— Aaja Chemnitz Larsen (@AajaCL) August 16, 2019
Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters:
We are open for business, but we’re not for sale.
Danish politicians have also expressed scorn at the notion, with former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeting:
It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season.
Meanwhile, foreign affairs spokesperson for the Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told state broadcaster DR:
If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,
The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous.
It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of sesson! https://t.co/ev5DDVZc5f
— Lars Løkke Rasmussen (@larsloekke) August 15, 2019
President Trump is due to make a – unrelated – state visit to Copenhagen on September 2, where he will meet with the prime ministers of both Denmark and Greenland.
Around 56,000 residents live in Greenland, which is the largest island on earth. Despite being located in North American waters, Greenland is culturally and politically European, with foreign affairs and security policy matters handled by Copenhagen.
UNILAD has reached out to the Office Of Press Operations for comment.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.