Trump postpones Denmark trip after prime minister refuses to put Greenland up for sale

Less than two weeks before his scheduled trip to Denmark, U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he has postponed his visit to Copenhagen after the Danish Prime Minister disputed his interest in buying Greenland as "absurd."

Trump wrote on Twitter: "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time."

He continued: "The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!"

On Wednesday, a White House official confirmed to reporters that the entire trip to Denmark is being scrapped.  Trump has on multiple occasions brought up buying Greenland from the Danish government and the White House counsel's office has looked into the possibility, according to several sources on Capital Hill.

On Sunday, Trump confirmed his interest in buying the country, telling reporters that Greenland is hurting Denmark.  "We are good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world, and the concept came up," the President said in New Jersey before heading back to Washington. "Strategically it's interesting, and we would be interested, but we will talk with them a little bit."

But Frederiksen was not amused, telling the newspaper Sermitsiaq: "Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish.  Greenland belongs to Greenland."  And she added: "I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously," she said, calling the conversations "an absurd discussion."

When Trump confirmed his interest in the Greenland purchase on Sunday, he had suggested his trip to Denmark was not related.  "We're going to Poland and then we may be going to Denmark -- not for this reason at all. But we're looking at it (purchasing Greenland).  It's not number one on the burner," he told reporters.

Trump and first lady Melania Trump had accepted an invitation to visit Her Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark, and he had been expected to participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders, according to the White House.

The Danish Royal House said Trump's postponement "was a complete surprise."   "This has never happened before," Danish Royal House Director of Communications Lene Balleby told CNN.

It's unclear whether the postponement will affect his scheduled visit to Warsaw, Poland -- part of the same trip -- but observers said it does not appear that Trump has intentions of buying anything in Poland... other than maybe a postcard.
Edited by Ed Newman

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