“Joke” should be in quotation marks. There isn’t a shadow of a doubt that he would do that deal if it were on the table.
Greenland, for one, was not on the staff’s list of priorities for the week. But while Mr. Trump has long derided nation-building, his flirtation with nation-buying turned out to be more serious than many originally thought. He has been talking privately about buying Greenland for more than a year and even detailed the National Security Council staff to study the idea.
At one point last year, according to a former official who heard him, he even joked in a meeting about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland — happy to rid himself of an American territory whose leadership he has feuded with repeatedly.
A foreign policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, trying to encapsulate the absurdity of Trump’s interest in purchasing Greenland, told the Hill, “It would be like the prime minister of Denmark saying that she wants to buy Puerto Rico or Guam. What would the president of the United States say then?”
Um, he would say yes, buddy. He’d say, “Where do I sign?”
He might even throw in one as a free gift with the purchase of the other. He’s spent his entire presidency trying to prevent an influx of Latinos seeking asylum across the southern border. You don’t think he’d lunge at the chance to offload three million Puerto Ricans on Russia, say, in exchange for development rights to finally build the Trump Tower Moscow?
Or that *many* Republicans would applaud the idea of severing ties with two territories whose cultures are different from traditional mainland America’s?
Heck, I wonder if he would have been as keen on the Greenland deal if he realized the U.S. would have been acquiring a population of Inuits, not Scandinavians.
By the way, Denmark is insisting today that when the prime minister called his idea of purchasing Greenland “absurd,” which angered Trump, she didn’t mean absurd-absurd:
Officials in Copenhagen were sent scrambling. As of Thursday afternoon U.S. diplomats said they were fielding calls from Danish officials who—in an attempt to smooth things over—offered up the explanation that “absurd” in Danish doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in English.
Individuals who work regularly with the U.S. State Department in Copenhagen said the line from officials in Denmark is that the word “absurd” can have a less severe meaning in Danish, including “it makes no sense” or “it is out of place in the context.”
“It looks like we have a lost-in-translation situation on our hands,” one Danish diplomat told The Daily Beast.
Can’t hurt to try that spin. It might soothe his ego — although this same story cites sources claiming that Trump was never formally invited to Denmark to meet with the queen, rather that he just sort of invited himself pursuant to an informal standing invitation for the president of the United States. I’m not sure “translation mix-up” will calm him when they’re also whispering that they weren’t eager to host him.
My prediction on Tuesday night after he tweeted that he was postponing his visit was “Tomorrow he’s going to tweet about Denmark not meeting its NATO defense spending obligations. In a couple of weeks he’ll joke at a rally about invading Greenland.” He satisfied the first half of that prediction on Wednesday. Will he satisfy the second? Even if he doesn’t, Republican groups are already having fun with the idea of an Americanized Greenland. In lieu of an exit question, your images of the day.
Meanwhile, the Nevada GOP is running FB ads urging Republicans to "show your support for making Greenland the 51st state" with another t-shirt pic.twitter.com/qNGPyHgYE0
— Casey Tolan (@caseytolan) August 22, 2019