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2019-08-23 09:55:481 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Tom Cottom (Image source: Public domain)
Donald Trump really took many people by surprise when it was revealed he was considering making an offer to Denmark to buy Greenland. But there's at least one person who wasn't very surprised. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) admitted that he had discussed the idea with the president and also suggested it in a meeting with the Danish ambassador.
Rumors were floated over the weekend that Trump was considering buying Greenland, and then he confirmed the rumors and joked about it along with a photoshopped image of Greenland with a Trump Tower sitting in the middle of it.
Neither Greenland nor Denmark wanted to negotiate, and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admitted she found it "absurd." Trump canceled his planned visit to Denmark since they didn't want to discuss a sale. He followed this by calling her "nasty" because of her comment.
The president had suggested that buying Greenland was something other presidents had considered and specifically called out the late President Harry S. Truman for making an offer.
But Cotton is saying he had discussed the idea with Trump months ago, though it's not clear if he was the first person to do so, as he said Trump had heard the suggestion "from me and from some other people as well."
The senator was asked at a Little Rock luncheon hosted by the Talk Business & Politics website why the United States was considering buying Greenland.
"You're joking," he said to the moderator of the event, "but I can reveal to you that several months ago, I met with the Danish ambassador, and I proposed that they sell Greenland to us."
Cotton believes that "it's obviously the right decision for the United States, and anyone who can't see that is blinded by Trump derangement."
Caroline Tabler, the senator's communications director, explained that he first mentioned the idea of the U.S. buying Greenland in a talk with Trump over a year ago. They never discussed it again, and Cotton did not have any discussions with him about his trip to Greenland.
Cotton also suggested the idea in a conversation with Lars Gert Lose, former Danish Ambassador to the United States, last August, according to Tabler. They met in his Senate office to discuss NATO among other topics, and Cotton brought up the possibility of the U.S. buying Greenland.
"It's definitely something he's been thinking about for a while from a national security standpoint, to keep it out of the hands of Russia and China, said the communications director who believes he may have caught the ambassador "a little off guard."
Sources have said Trump had been talking about his interest in buying Denmark for weeks. Senior officials in the administration had discussed possibly offering Denmark a deal with the U.S. taking over the annual $600 million subsidy to Greenland in perpetuity, two people familiar with the talks said. The idea of a large one-time payment was floated as well.
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