A former U.S. ambassador to Denmark is calling out President Donald Trump’s plan to purchase Greenland, arguing the idea is “completely tone-deaf and out of line.”
Former Ambassador Rufus Gifford, who served in the Obama administration, discussed the unique proposal from the Trump administration during a Monday appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“I laughed until I cried,” Gifford said of his initial reaction to the news of Trump’s interest in acquiring Greenland, “Because it just seemed to be such a bizarre and cavalier way to talk about what is really a phenomenal alliance, and critically important alliance, strategically.”
Gifford pointed to the curt and dismissive responses from the governments of Denmark and Greenland squashing any consideration of selling the island.
“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger said. Former Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen wrote on Twitter that the proposal, “has to be an April Fool’s joke.”
The story was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal and confirmed by Trump personally on Sunday, likening it to “a large real estate deal.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
"Economic investment and even military partnership" between the US and Denmark would be welcomed, but buying Greenland "feels completely tone deaf and out of line," says former US ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford pic.twitter.com/80f1dI9BGt
— New Day (@NewDay) August 19, 2019
While the United States did attempt to purchase Greenland in the late 1940s under former President Harry Truman, Gifford argued the different geopolitical reality at the time set that decision apart from Trump floating the idea.
“The difference now is something that’s critically important to the peace and prosperity of the west, which is NATO,” he explained.
Though sharply critical of Trump’s desire to purchase Greenland, Gifford expressed hope that Trump’s upcoming visit to Denmark could lead to a stronger partnership between the United States, Denmark, and Greenland.
“But purchasing a great real estate transaction, that is where this just feels completely tone-deaf and out of line, and I think there’s a real distinction there,” he added.