Donald Trump has confirmed he’s considering an attempt to purchase Greenland for strategic reasons, although he said the concept is “not No1 on the burner”.
The US president’s interest, reported earlier this week, was greeted internationally with widespread hilarity; however, with anger in Greenland and Denmark.
The federal government of the semi-autonomous Danish territory insisted it was not for sale. The Danish prime minister referred to as any discussion of a deal “absurd.”
Nonetheless, on Sunday White House financial adviser Larry Kudlow first validated the report in an interview, before Trump spoke to reporters as he left New Jersey to return from vacation to Washington.
Saying the “concept came up,” and he was “taking a look at it,” the man who runs a particularly broken White House also questioned how the idea discovered its way to the media.
Trump sought to connect the idea of a US purchase of the world’s largest island – not including the continent of Australia – to his area of professional expertise, saying it could be “essentially a big real estate deal.”
Denmark is a member country of Nato, a mutual defense organization frequently criticized by the US president. Trump believes member countries don’t pay enough for the privilege of membership alongside the highly effective US army.
Such American forces have operated for many years from Thule Air Base in Greenland, the northern-most US base which is a part of a global network of radars and sensors for missile alerts and space surveillance.
In 1803, Thomas Jefferson bought large portion of land from France for $15m in the Louisiana Purchase. In 1867, Andrew Johnson paid $7.2m for Alaska from Russia. The territory has also been bought from Denmark. In 1917, Woodrow Wilson purchased the Danish West Indies for $25m, recalling them the US Virgin Islands.