President Trump has been talking about buying an island that could become America's biggest—and least populous—state, insiders say. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the president has repeatedly asked advisers "with varying degrees of seriousness" about the possibility of buying Greenland from Denmark. One insider says Trump told associates at a dinner last spring that he had been told Denmark has been struggling with the cost of assisting the semi-autonomous island and he should consider buying it. "What do you guys think about that?" the source says he asked associates. "Do you think it would work?" Greenland, which lies east of the Canadian Arctic, has a population of fewer than 58,000 people in 811,000 square miles. It also has an American air base with around 600 personnel.
The idea met with ridicule online, though it isn't completely unprecedented, the Washington Post notes. President Harry Truman offered Denmark $100 million for Greenland in 1946, and President Andrew Johnson considered buying both Greenland and Iceland in 1867. In 1917, the US bought the Danish West Indies for $25 million and renamed them the US Virgin Islands. "This idea isn't as crazy as the headline makes it seem," tweeted GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher. "This a smart geopolitical move. The United States has a compelling strategic interest in Greenland, and this should absolutely be on the table." There's been no official comment yet from Denmark, which Trump is due to visit next month in a trip apparently unrelated to his Greenland ambitions. (Read more Greenland stories.)