The astonishment in Denmark over President Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland turned to bewilderment and anger on Wednesday after the American leader abruptly scrapped a state visit because the Danes have no desire to sell.
The cancellation was a rare snub of Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe II, who had extended the invitation to the president and would have hosted him and the first lady.
News that Mr. Trump is not coming “came as a surprise,” the Royal House’s communications director told the state broadcaster, adding, “That’s all we have to say about that.”
Others, however, had more to say. “Is this some sort of joke?” Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister, wrote on Twitter. “Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.”
It was not a joke. A day earlier, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that Denmark was “a very special country with incredible people” but added that he was abandoning plans to visit because of the country’s refusal to sell Greenland, a semiautonomous part of the kingdom of Denmark. [Continue reading…]
Trump’s public comments Wednesday struck a different tone than Tuesday night, when he said in a tweet that Denmark is “a very special country with incredible people” and he thanked Frederiksen for “being so direct.”
Speaking at a news conference in Copenhagen before Trump’s appearance in Washington, Frederiksen said his decision to cancel his trip would not “change the character of our good relations,” adding that an invitation “for stronger cooperation on Arctic affairs still stands.”
On Wednesday evening, hours after Trump’s remarks, the Danish prime minister told public broadcaster DR: “I think we have answered very nicely from the Danish side.”
She was “not going to go into a war of words” with Trump, Frederiksen added in an interview with the TV2 network.
Her measured remarks stood in strong contrast with Danish lawmakers from across the political spectrum and former government ministers, who slammed Trump’s behavior as juvenile, undiplomatic and insulting. [Continue reading…]
The former prime minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt, tweeted:
Trump's behaviour is ridiculous. Bering, a Danish explorer, discovered Alaska. Perhaps an exchange could be explored?😂
Confirmation once again that Trump has no respect for his allies.https://t.co/ZcDcO6S0yD
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) August 21, 2019