2019-08-22 11:48:131 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
As is often the case, Donald Trump is just making things worse and worse. After he floated the idea of buying Greenland and found Denmark wasn't interested in such a deal, he canceled his visit to Denmark. When the prime minister grew upset with him, he referred to her as "nasty," and now he has further upset the country.
Trump confirmed the rumors this weekend that he was interested in buying Greenland, referring to it as a "large real estate deal." The country's ministry of foreign affairs answered, "We're open for business, not for sale."
The president had already planned a trip for Denmark in the coming weeks. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she had no interest in discussing Trump buying Greenland and that she found the discussion "absurd."
"Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland," she noted, then suggested, "I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously."
Trump shared a photoshopped image with a Trump Tower sitting in the middle of Greenland, promising not to do that. But after finding out Denmark wasn't interested in making a deal with him, he used this as a reason to cancel his trip.
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II had invited Donald and Melania Trump to the country and was snubbed. The Royal House's communications director told the state broadcaster that Trump's cancellation "came as a surprise," adding, "That's all we have to say about that."
Former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was willing to talk more. "Is this some sort of joke?" she asked. "Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark."
But it was the "absurd" word that upset Trump. "All they had to do is say, 'No, we'd rather not do that" or "We'd rather not talk about it," he said. "Don't say, 'What an absurd idea that is.'
"You don't talk to the United States that way," he insisted.
Asked about his latest comments, Frederiksen said, "I'm not going to enter a war of words with anybody, nor with the American president." She added that she found Denmark's response to Trump and his canceled trip "good and wise."
Other political personalities chimed in as well. "Please stop," tweeted the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament head Martin Lidegaard. He also mentioned several topics that should be of more interest to both the U.S. and Denmark, including the Arctic, climate change, and the Middle East.
"Total chaos," added former finance minister Kristian Jensen. "This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis."
Before things had turned "nasty" between the two allies, Frederiksen told a reporter in Greenland, "Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let's leave it there."
"Jokes aside," she continued, "we would naturally love to have an even closer strategic relationship with the U.S."
Additionally, before the cancellation, the American ambassador, Carla Sands, tweeted, "Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend," with emojis of the flags of the two nations. She obviously didn't realize his idea of "partner, ally, friend" included buying and selling.
After the cancellation, a headline in the conservative Berlingske read, "The U.S. and Denmark's relationship has never been this ice-cold. It will have wide-ranging consequences."
The state broadcaster website ran a headline that read, "Trump sends Denmark and the U.S.'s relationship to the freezing point."
Frederiksen still has hope for the relationship, however. "I don't believe the relationship is in crisis," she said on Wednesday. "We are closely connected, and the United States is one of our most important allies. Our cooperation will only expand in strength and range."
While she said decisions about Danish contributions to military missions in Syria as well as the Strait of Hormuz would be unaffected, she also stunningly said Trump was welcome to visit Denmark another time.
Others did not seem as willing to let it go. "For no reason, Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale," tweeted the former minister of business Rasmus Jarlov.
"Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for. Are parts of the U.S. for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect."
The speaker of Parliament's leftist red-green alliance, Pernille Skipper, tweeted that Trump "lives on another planet. Smug and disrespectful."
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