Trump throws a tantrum and cancels his Denmark trip after his plans to buy Greenland are widely mocked

Trump throws a tantrum and cancels his Denmark trip after his plans to buy Greenland are widely mocked
President Donald J. Trump speaks with reporters prior to his bilateral meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

If the president can't have Greenland, he's going to take his toys and go home.

That was the message President Donald Trump sent in a pair of tweets Tuesday night, canceling an upcoming trip Denmark:

The remarkably petty move came after Trump faced widespread mockery over reports, which he later confirmed, that the president has been expressing interest in buying Greenland and making it a part of the United States. Greenland is a largely autonomous country that is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and no one is interested in selling.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Sunday: "Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland."

She added: "I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously." She also said the idea was "absurd."

In a cheeky tweet, Greenland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "We're open for business, not for sale."

It seems Trump was offended by all this, leading him to cancel the trip. The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the news about the president's expansionist dreams, wrote:

Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it would be a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious.

With a population of about 56,000, Greenland is a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and while its government decides on most domestic matters, foreign and security policy is handled by Copenhagen. Mr. Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark early next month, although the visit is unrelated, these people said.

This suggests there was a purpose for the trip above and beyond the proposed purchase of Greenland. But none of that matters now, it seems, because Trump can't get his way.

In fact, Roll Call reporter Niels Lesniewski reported: "I would note President Trump was invited to Denmark by Her Majesty the Queen, which means it was supposed to be a State visit." And Trump himself said Sunday: “We may be going to Denmark but not for this reason at all.”

And unfortunately for the U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands in Denmark, just a few hours before Trump's cancellation, she sent this tweet:


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