With the Prime Minister of Denmark making it clear that she was not interested in selling Greenland to the United States, labeling the idea 'absurd,' President Donald Trump said Tuesday night that he would cancel his scheduled visit to the NATO ally in early September.
"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," the President tweeted on Tuesday evening.
In interviews this week, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had made clear that Greenland was not for sale, even as she welcomed the idea of closer relations between Denmark and the United States.
But that wasn't enough for President Trump.
"Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over," Denmark's PM says of Trump's interest in purchasing Greenland pic.twitter.com/wvBHQ2xrhD— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 19, 2019
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
On Sunday, President Trump had downplayed the issue as he returned to the White House.
"It’s not number one on the burner, I can tell you that," the President told reporters when asked about the idea of buying Greenland.
The decision obviously came as a surprise to U.S. diplomats in Denmark, as the U.S. Ambassador had put out a tweet a few hours earlier about the President's scheduled state visit.
The President and First Lady had been invited by the Queen of Denmark earlier this summer for a two day state visit.
Democrats mocked the President for canceling his stop in Denmark.
“Embarrassing,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).
"What a shame when Greenland could be covered with sand traps, water holes and lots of beautiful putting greens," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), referring to the President's golfing.