News Trump once joked that the US should trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, according to a former administration official
- As part of his interest in purchasing the island of Greenland from Denmark, President Donald Trump once joked that the US could trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, a former official told The New York Times.
- After the Wall Street Journal broke the news of Trump’s interest in purchasing Greenland, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen shot down the idea as „absurd.”
- Trump has a rocky and tumultuous relationship with the leadership of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island territory the US acquired from Spain in 1898.
- In 2017, his administration was accused of inadequately responding to the devastation Hurricane Maria caused the island and giving Puerto Rico less disaster aid than US states like Florida and Texas.
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As part of his interest in purchasing the island of Greenland from Denmark, President Donald Trump once joked that the US could trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, a former official told The New York Times.After the Wall Street Journal broke the news of Trump’s interest in purchasing Greenland, a partially autonomous territory in the Arctic Ocean under Danish control, Trump spent the week sparring with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen over the issue. When Fredriksen shot down his idea of purchasing Greenland as „absurd” and clarified that the island „is not for sale,” Trump took her response as a personal affront to the United States and canceling a planned state visit to Denmark, which was presumably meant to discuss a possible purchase of Greenland. „I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty, I thought it was an inappropriate statement,” Trump lamented to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday. „All she had to do was say, ‘no, we wouldn’t be interested.’ I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something. They could have told me ‘no’… I have many friends from Denmark … and we treat countries with respect. She shouldn’t treat the United States that way,” Trump added. Later that day, Trump took another shot at Denmark on Twitter over their contributions to NATO’s budget, tweeting, „for the record, Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at 2%.”Read more: Trump is snubbing a close ally because it won’t let him buy Greenland while supporting rival Russia before his Europe trip As the Times pointed out, Trump has a rocky and tumultuous relationship with the leadership of Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island territory the US acquired from Spain in 1898.After Hurricanes Maria and Harvey devastated US states along the Gulf of Mexico and Puerto Rico in fall of 2017, Trump bitterly feuded with Puerto Rican politicians as his administration was accused of inadequately responding to the devastation of the island and giving Puerto Rico less disaster aid than US states like Florida and Texas; the hurricane is estimated to have caused 2,975 deaths, making it one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history.In a now-infamous viral video, Trump visited the island shortly after the storm and flippantly tossed rolls of paper towels into a crowd of people seeking supplies. In a series of angry tweets in April, Trump wrote of Puerto Rico, „all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA,” suggesting that Puerto Rico was not part of the US.White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley echoed that implication bycalling Puerto Rico „that country” in a subsequent cable news appearance. While Puerto Ricans are US citizens who pay federal taxes and serve in the US armed forces, people living in the territory cannot vote in federal elections and do not have representatives voting on their behalf in Congress, only being able to elect non-voting delegates. Read more:Trump ranted for 35 minutes in 89-degree heat, calling the prime minister of Denmark ‘nasty,’ repeating his claim that Jewish voters are ‘disloyal,’ and saying it ‘isn’t my trade war’People in Denmark are angry and sad that Trump canceled his visit — and warning that the relationship between the 2 countries is now ‘ice-cold’Trump wants to buy Greenland. Only one-third of Americans would be willing to offer more than $12 for the island. ;Trump keeps criticizing NATO allies over spending. Here’s how NATO’s budget actually works
Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, told his Danish counterpart that Washington appreciated the country’s “cooperation as one of the United States’ allies and Denmark’s contributions to address shared global security priorities”, according to a State Department spokesman.Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said in a tweet that the pair had had a “frank, friendly and constructive talk” following Mr Trump’s outburst over the possibility of buying Greenland, which his government had rebuffed.Their comments came as Carla Sands, the US ambassador to Denmark, insisted her boss “values & respects” the country and “looks forward to a visit in the future to discuss the many important issues in our strong bilateral relationship”.She added on Twitter: “Great friends & Allies … should be able to discuss all issues openly & candidly.”Mr Trump had been invited to Denmark by Queen Margrethe II.But in an early-morning tweet on Wednesday the Republican said he would not travel to Copenhagen in September as planned because Mette Fredericksen, the Danish prime minister, had declined to discuss selling Greenland to the US.The snub was all the more extraordinary because only a day earlier he had said the idea of purchasing the semi-autonomous territory – where the US already has a military presence – was “not number one on the burner”.Mr Trump’s tweets also undercut Ms Sands, who had enthusiastically anticipated his visit in a separate Twitter post. Rise in global sea level after melting of Greenland ice sheet The president called Ms Fredericksen’s reaction to his apparent desire to buy Greenland “nasty” after the Danish premier said the idea was “absurd”.“She’s talking to the United States of America. You don’t talk to the United States that way, at least under me,” he told reporters on Wednesday.He added: “Greenland was just an idea, just a thought. But I think when they say it was ‘absurd’ and it was said in a very nasty, very sarcastic way, I said, ‘We’ll make it some other time’.”Greenland, which has gained attention from powers including China, Russia and the US due to its strategic location and mineral wealth, is self-governing but underdeveloped and relies on Denmark for economic support.