Copenhagen: Escalating an international spat, President Donald Trump said Wednesday he scrapped his trip to Denmark because the prime minister made a "nasty" statement when she rejected his idea to buy Greenland as an absurdity. "You don't talk to the United States that way, at least under me," Trump told reporters in Washington. "I thought it was not a nice statement, the way she blew me off."
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the whole thing "an absurd discussion" and said she was "disappointed and surprised" that Trump had cancelled his visit. Trump said Frederiksen's comment labelling his idea as absurd "was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to say was say, 'No, we wouldn't be interested.'"
Greenland is a semi-autonomous territory of the US ally, and Frederiksen said the US remains one of Denmark's close allies. The political brouhaha over the world's largest island comes from its strategic location in the Arctic.
Global warming is making Greenland more accessible to potential oil and mineral resources. Russia, China, the US, Canada and other countries are racing to stake as strong a claim as they can to Arctic lands, hoping they will yield future riches.
Trump was scheduled to visit Denmark on Sept. 2-3 as part of a European tour. But early Wednesday, he tweeted his decision to indefinitely postpone the trip. The move stunned Danes and blindsided the Danish royal palace.
"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," Trump said.