The former U.S. ambassador to Denmark went on CNN Wednesday to air his grievances with President Donald Trump for canceling his trip to the country because its prime minister wouldn’t fork over Greenland.
Rufus Gifford, who served in the Obama administration, called Trump’s cancelation a “shame.”
“I think it’s sad, honestly, because this is just not the way you treat an ally,” Gifford said on CNN Wednesday. “And to cancel the trip in this way is just a shame. It’s absolutely a shame.”
Gifford pointed out that Trump’s previously planned visit was not just a bilateral visit with the prime minister, but also a state dinner that would’ve been the first for a sitting U.S. president since Bill Clinton in 1997.
Gifford further expressed disappointment with Trump for making his Denmark visit contingent on the possibility of purchasing Greenland, despite the country’s history of having “fought and died alongside American soldiers.”
“I had the great responsibility of going to the Danish government and requesting troops to go to Iraq, to Syria. And they went and they fought along I’d our troops and died alongside our troops,” Gifford said. “This is not the way you treat a loyal ally who is with centuries of diplomatic relations. It’s just a sad chapter to me.”
On Tuesday, Greenland’s leader doubled down on rejecting the idea of Trump purchasing the semi-autonomous Danish territory, echoing the Danish prime minister’s “absurd discussion” remarks the day before.
Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger had tersely dismissed Trump’s interest in the territory last week, saying that “we are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
Watch Gifford’s remarks below:
Former U.S. ambassador to Denmark blasts Trump for canceling his trip to the country. pic.twitter.com/m7wX88h5ul
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 21, 2019