Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump had been floating the idea of buying Greenland, a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark.
What seemed to be an out-of-left-field news report amidst a swirling cycle of news on trade, immigration and gun control quickly picked up steam, theatrics and now an apparent legitimacy that many may have not seen coming.
This past Sunday, President Trump confirmed the Journal’s reporting, saying that when he was presented with the idea to gauge his interest, he said, “‘certainly, I’d be [sic]. Strategically, it’s interesting, and we’d be interested.’ But we’ll talk to them a little bit.”
Upon hearing of the news, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen blistered the hypothetical proposal, saying “Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland,” and “I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously.” Prime Minister Frederiksen also called the idea “absurd.”
For this response, President Trump canceled his planned trip to Denmark, referring to Frederiksen’s comments as “nasty.”
Now, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says that he supports the U.S. purchase of Greenland.
On Wednesday, at a Little Rock luncheon, Sen. Cotton said that he actually met with the Danish months ago with the proposal. Sen. Cotton referred to it as, “obviously, the right decision for this country.”
Cotton supported his stance by asserting an “untold” amount of oil and mineral wealth on the island, and that it was a necessary tool in strengthening the U.S. defense posture.
To date, no oil has been found on the semi-autonomous, dependent territory, though it is suggested that as its ice continues to melt, some of the resources Sen. Cotton is suggesting may be found.
In 1946, under the leadership of President Harry Truman, the U.S. offered Denmark $100 million to acquire Greenland. That proposal was declined and forgotten. Sen. Cotton pointed to that 70-year-old idea as proof that it was in the best interest of the U.S. today. “There’s a reason why Harry S Truman, 70 years ago, recognized this was an obvious advantage to the American people,” Sen. Cotton said.
It is unclear if Sen. Cotton is the original seed that sprouted these discussions with the President, which as Trump says was to gauge his interest. But, Sen. Cotton said that he told Trump “you should buy it,” but also added that the President has been approached about this subject by “some other people as well.”