The Danish royal family was “surprised” after President Trump scrapped a planned visit to Denmark following comments by the country's prime minister that the idea the U.S. might buy Greenland from them was “absurd.”
Trump had been expected to visit Denmark on Sept. 2-3 as part of his trip to Europe, but until his tweets Tuesday, there were no solid indications the visit was centered on buying Greenland.
"Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time," Trump wrote.
The White House later clarified that the entire trip to Denmark had been scrapped, including a planned meeting with Denmark's Queen Margrethe II.
The cancellation of the visit left the Danish royal family flabbergasted, while other politicians said the snub was “deeply insulting.”
“It [the cancellation] was a surprise -- we have nothing more to say about this case,” said Lene Balleby, head of communications for the Danish royal family.
“It [the cancellation] was a surprise -- we have nothing more to say about this case.”
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister, tweeted that Trump's cancellation was “deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark,” while ex-foreign minister Martin Lidegaard told Danish broadcaster TV2 that the situation was “a diplomatic farce” and slammed Trump for “grotesque” behavior.
“Total chaos,” the former finance minister Kristian Jensen wrote. “This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”
Pernille Skipper, the speaker of Parliament’s leftist red-green alliance, tweeted that Trump “lives on another planet,” adding that he’s “smug and disrespectful.”
“Total chaos. This has gone from a great opportunity for a strengthened dialogue between allies to a diplomatic crisis.”
Earlier this month, Trump expressed his interest in potentially buying Greenland, a semi-autonomous territory under Danish control with a population of approximately 56,000.
But the unorthodox idea prompted a stark rebuke from Denmark and widespread mockery of the idea on social media.
“Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland. I strongly hope that this is not meant seriously,” Frederiksen told the newspaper Sermitsiaq.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who recently resigned as Danish prime minister, tweeted last week: “It must be an April Fool’s Day joke.”
The president himself has jumped to joke about the purchase of Greenland, tweeting a meme showing a lavish Trump skyscraper looming over a mostly empty village in Greenland and promising “not to do this to Greenland!"
Trump said this month that while buying Greenland was “strategically” interesting, it’s not a priority for his administration, though he noted that the land costs Denmark hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
“Strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to them a little bit. It's not No. 1 on the burner, I can tell you that,” Trump recently said.
“A lot of things can be done. It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they're losing almost $700 million a year carrying it,” he added. “So, they carry it at great loss, and strategically for the United States, it would be nice. And, we're a big ally of Denmark and we help Denmark, and we protect Denmark.”
Fox News' Gregg Re and Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.