A new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Trump has asked his advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, during "meetings, dinners, and passing conversations" because of Greenland's "abundant resources and geopolitical importance," according to White House sources.
While some of Trump's advisers support the idea as a "good economic play," others dismiss the inquiry as a "fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition."
Coincidentally, the president will be making his first visit to Denmark next month, although the sources say the scheduled trip is completely unrelated.
Greenland, which has a population of roughly 56,000, has welcomed U.S. military personnel to its Thule Air Base as part of a treaty between the U.S. and Denmark that has been used by both U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and includes a ballistic missile radar station.
The Journal reports that advisers have said Trump sees purchasing Greenland as equivalent to the 1867 U.S. acquisition of Alaska. However, it remains unclear how the president would realistically pursue such a deal.
Trump floated the idea of buying Greenland at a dinner earlier this year after he was told that Denmark was having "financial trouble" with the ice-covered country, but a source suggested the president meant it as a joke.
“What do you guys think about that?” Trump reportedly asked the room, “Do you think it would work?”
The president's reported interest in Greenland is not unprecedented. In 1946, the U.S. offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100 million, but the Danish government refused to sell. The Journal also reported that the State Department inquired about purchasing Greenland and Iceland from Denmark in 1867.
Greenland real-estate agent Kenneth Mortensen told WSJ that no one can "own land" in his country since it is all owned by the government, although "you get a right to use the land where you want to build a house" without buying.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.