Trump Wanted To Trade Puerto Rico For Greenland

Vanity Fair reports:

In their forthcoming book, The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser report that while it might have seemed like Trump just woke up one day and thought to himself, “I’d like to buy Greenland,” the idea was actually put in his head by billionaire Ronald Lauder, after which the president spent months pestering his advisers about it.

Trump reportedly told John Bolton, his national security adviser. “What do you think?” Again, to be clear, the president was talking about buying a country here—not an Atlantic City casino. According to Baker, “one mystified cabinet member was struck by the delusional nature of it,” while “other advisers tried to keep the idea from leaking out for fear that it would cause a diplomatic incident.”

Baker writes for the New York Times:

Mr. Bolton, concerned about expanding Chinese influence in the Arctic, thought that an increased American presence in Greenland made sense but that an outright purchase was not feasible. Mr. Trump kept pushing. He suggested taking federal money from Puerto Rico, which he disparaged, and using it to buy Greenland.

On another occasion, he suggested outright trading Puerto Rico for Greenland. After The Wall Street Journal reported the interest in Greenland, Denmark’s government slammed the idea.

“When it became public, they lost their political courage,” Mr. Trump said in the interview last year, as if the Danes had ever been serious about selling.