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This Might Be How the 'Buy Greenland' Controversy Started

Sen. Tom Cotton says he floated the idea months ago
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2019 2:00 PM CDT
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., leaves a Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Seems President Trump didn't come up with "let's buy Greenland" all on his own. Speaking at a Talk Business & Politics event in Arkansas, Sen. Tom Cotton said he looked into a possible purchase months ago and asked the Danish ambassador about it. "Obviously, the right decision for this country," he told TB&P CEO Roby Brock about Trump's Greenland tweets. "You're joking, but I can reveal to you that several months ago, I met with the Danish ambassador and I proposed that they sell Greenland to us." Cotton said the semi-autonomous Danish territory is strategically situated for America, already houses a US base, and has mineral reserves—which explains China's 2018 attempt to pay off Greenland's government and set up military bases there.

Cotton noted that Trump officials and members of Congress persuaded Denmark to prevent the China deal at the eleventh hour. He and others advised Trump to pursue the purchase, said Cotton, who accused anyone who disagreed of being "blinded by Trump derangement." Yet the issue became a diplomatic headache this week when Denmark's prime minister called the idea "absurd," Danish politicians condemned it, and Trump canceled his pending Denmark trip, per the Guardian. Then on Thursday, former Danish PM Lars Loekke Rasmussen responded to a Trump tweet that criticized Denmark's NATO spending—which "is only at 1.35% of GDP"—by saying Denmark's casualties in Afghanistan were proportionally the same as America's, the AP reports. (Read more Greenland stories.)

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