Donald Trump really does want to buy Greenland, even though the county’s government made it clear they’re not for sale.
On Sunday, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed the reports from earlier in the week that the president is “looking at” potentially buying the island in the North Atlantic Ocean. As the Daily Mail noted, Kudlow was careful not to give too many details, but noted that Donald Trump has a knack when it comes to making real estate deals.
“I don’t want to predict an outcome,” Kudlow said in his appearance on Fox News Sunday. “I’m just saying, the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a Greenland purchase.”
A report on Thursday from The Wall Street Journal noted that Trump had spoken to advisers about the idea of purchasing Greenland and and was carefully considering the potential benefits of owning the island. Greenland has strategic importance for its positioning between Europe and the United States, and is home to the Thule Air Base — the northernmost base for the U.S. military. The base hosts a radar and learning post that can detect and warn about incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. Greenland also has large deposits of coal and uranium, even though most of the ice and snow-covered island is not inhabitable.
There are some who believe that Greenland could become more inhabitable due to the effects of global warming, which could thaw large parts of the frozen island.
A day after the reports of Trump’s potential Greenland purchase emerged, the government of the island, which is an autonomous Danish dependent territory, shot down the idea. As CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Twitter, the government pushed back against the report that the island could be purchased by the United States and declared that “Greenland is not for sale.”
While the reports that Donald Trump was considering purchasing Greenland drew some ridicule, he would not be the first American president to raise the idea of purchasing the island. As CNN noted, the United States had reportedly tried to buy the island in 1947 under President Harry Truman and also showed interest in 1867 under Secretary of State William Seward, who had purchased the territory of Alaska.
It was not clear how serious Donald Trump might be about purchasing Greenland, or what price the United States would be paying for the 836,300-square-mile island.