Trump, 73, made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday, citing the prime minister’s lack of interest in “discussing the purchase of Greenland.”
“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 wrote.
“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,” Trump continued. “I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”
A White House official also confirmed to CNN that the Copenhagen, Denmark trip, which was scheduled for September, is being canceled.
A spokesperson for the Danish royal family told the Associated Press that the cancelation was a “surprise.”
Last Sunday, Trump confirmed that he’d been thinking about how the United States might acquire Greenland.
“A lot of things can be done. I mean, essentially, it’s a large real estate deal,” he told reporters while returning to Washington, D.C., following his New Jersey vacation.
....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
Then, on Monday, he shared a tongue-in-cheek meme imagining a gaudy, gold Trump tower on the island. “I promise not to do this to Greenland!” he wrote.
Trump’s interest in Greenland was widely reported last week, citing sources in his orbit, and it was treated with a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and skepticism about how serious he actually was. (He is not the first president to look into such a possibility, however.)
“It’s just something we talked about,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “Denmark essentially owns it. We’re very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up and I said, ‘Certainly, I’d be. Strategically, it’s interesting, and we’d be interested.’ But we’ll talk to them a little bit. It’s not No. 1 on the burner, I can tell you that.”
Greenland has its own government and semi-autonomy from the Kingdom of Denmark, of which it remains a part.
In a statement last week, according to Associated Press, the island’s government responded, saying: “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.”
“I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously,” Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen said, according to Reuters.
Greenland has reportedly interested Trump in part because of its stores of coal and uranium. The island is also geographically situated between the U.S. and Russia, and in the Arctic, where China has set its sights, offering geopolitical advantages as well.