Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday assured that the Biden administration has no desire to buy Greenland — a reported desire of former President Trump’s that never came to fruition and set off a diplomatic fallout.
While visiting Greenland on Thursday, Blinken told a reporter during a news conference that it was “correct” that the U.S. does not seek to purchase the autonomous Danish territory, according to Reuters.
According to Reuters, Blinken was sitting next to Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Greenland’s premier, Mute Egede, and Foreign Minister Pele Broberg when he issued his remarks.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in 2018 that Trump was eyeing Greenland as a potential new addition to the U.S. The then-President reportedly wanted both Greenland’s natural resources and the legacy of adding a new state to the union.
Two unnamed sources told the Journal that the President had gone as far as asking his White House counsel about buying the island.
Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger tersely dismissed Trump’s interest in the territory, saying “we are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
Greenland Prime Minister Kim Kielsen echoed Bagger’s sentiment, telling The Associated Press at the time that Trump’s idea “is not something to joke about” during a meeting in Iceland of the Nordic government leaders.
Trump, who was scheduled to visit Denmark, abruptly cancelled his trip after its prime minister wouldn’t fork over Greenland. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the idea of purchasing the country was “absurd,” a word Trump later called “terrible” and “not a nice statement.”
Trump made it abundantly clear that he cancelled his trip to Denmark because the Danish prime minister wouldn’t grant his wish.
“Denmark, I looked forward to going, but I thought that the prime minister’s statement that it was ‘absurd,’ that it was an ‘absurd idea,’ was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement,” he said. “All she had to do is say, ‘no, we wouldn’t be interested.’ We can’t treat the United States of America the way they treated us under President Obama. I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something. They could have told me no.”