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Denmark to Trump: Seriously, Greenland Isn't for Sale

Trump didn't let the idea go over the weekend, calling it "a large real estate deal."

by Tim Marcin
Aug 19 2019, 12:37pm

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Denmark is trying again to drive the point home to President Donald Trump: No, you cannot buy Greenland.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen emphasized Sunday that the semi-autonomous island was going to stay that way, saying the U.S. president’s apparent interest in a purchase was “an absurd discussion.”

“Greenland is not Danish,” Frederiksen said to reporters. “Greenland is Greenlandic. I persistently hope that this is not something that is seriously meant.”

Trump already confirmed he was serious on Sunday, saying “strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested.”

"It's something we talked about," he told reporters. "Denmark essentially owns it, and we're very good allies with Denmark."

The president did add that it wasn’t the biggest priority.

“It’s not No. 1 on the burner, I can tell you that,” he said.

READ: Trump wants to buy the island of Greenland from Denmark. Denmark says: “We’re good”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Trump had expressed interest in buying Greenland. And right from the jump, he was greeted with a decisive nope.

“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s Foreign Minister Ane Lone Bagger said Friday about the hypothetical sale.

Others were less diplomatic in their assessment of the president’s idea.

“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof that he has gone mad,” Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People’s Party, told public service broadcaster DR. “The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous.”

READ: This terrifying video shows just how bad the ice melt has gotten in Greenland

Despite the immediate rejection, Trump didn’t give up the idea over the weekend, calling it a “large real estate deal." He may soon have his chance to make his pitch in person: He's scheduled to meet with Frederiksen and Prime Minister Kim Kielsen in Copenhagen next month.

Cover: Minister President Mette FREDERIKSEN Press briefing of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark and the Federal Chancellor in the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on 11.07.2019. | Usage worldwide Photo by: Annegret Hilse / SVEN SIMON/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images