President Donald Trump’s half-serious allusions to the United States buying Greenland from Denmark have raised eyebrows among journalists and political commenters, but some have escalated their comments to mock Trump supporters.
“I wonder, you know, this is something, you know his supporters are like just blind followers of his,” the managing editor and co-founder of The Beat, Tiffany Cross, said on the MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin last Friday. “And I wonder when this becomes a talking point of his on the campaign trail, can anybody at the MAGA rally point out Greenland on a map?” she taunted.
The panel discussed Thursday’s the Wall Street Journal’s report about the president’s remarks on purchasing the world’s largest island, Greenland, an autonomous region under the jurisdiction of Denmark, quite in a similar way the United States acquired Alaska in 1867 from Russia.
“I would be very interested and curious to see. Or tell us what kind of government Greenland is or who the indigenous people are … I highly doubt it. So I think when you have a lack of understanding of global diplomacy, you can easily throw out these asinine ideas,” she said.
White House correspondent for The New York Times, Michael Crowley, then added, “It’s possible it was a little less than a total joke.”
He said that although it’s unlikely the Trump administration will buy Greenland, it “actually does have a strategic significance which makes it interesting to talk about.”
He continued, “The idea that there is a growing strategic great power competition … with China and with Russia … I think people might take a second thought and have a conversation about this is because it’s not just some big piece of land and no one knows where it is and it’s all kind of ridiculous—there is this strategic component.”
“The Truman administration reportedly at the time offered $100 million for Greenland and we did buy Alaska. I mean, this wouldn’t completely unprecedented I guess,” Melvin remarked, according to Fox News.
It is unclear how the president would realistically envision such a deal. The Greenland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, wrote on their Twitter, “We’re open for business, not for sale.”
Greenland’s foreign minister, Ane Lone Bagger, released a similar statement to Reuters.
Greenland Responds After Trump Reportedly Inquired About Buying Island
The news was first reported by on late Aug 15 by the Wall Street Journal, citing two unnamed advisers. It said Trump has, “with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest” in buying the island in the North Atlantic.
#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We’re open for business, not for sale❄️???????????????????? learn more about Greenland on: https://t.co/WulOi3beIC
— Greenland MFA ???????? (@GreenlandMFA) August 16, 2019
According to the article, the idea first came to Trump last spring when an associate suggested during a dinner that he should consider buying Greenland given that Denmark was having financial trouble over the island.
Trump has since been asking his White House counsel to look into the idea, the report said.
Greenland is the world’s largest island but has a population of only about 56,000. It enjoys self-governance in some areas, including judicial affairs, utilization of natural resources, and policing, as an autonomous constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark. But its foreign and security interests remain in the hands of the Danish government—as stipulated by the Danish Constitution.