Book: Trump wanted to trade Puerto Rico for Greenland | WFRV Local 5
(The Hill) – Former President Donald Trump suggested to his aides when he was president that the United States could trade Puerto Rico to Denmark for Greenland, according to a new book by two journalists.
New York Times reporter Peter Baker and The New Yorker magazine reporter Susan Glasser revealed in their book “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021” that Trump’s plan to buy Greenland stemmed from Ronald Lauder, a New York cosmetics specialist. heir who had known Trump since college.
Baker wrote in an article Wednesday that Lauder discussed the idea of buying Greenland with Trump from the earliest days of his presidency, and Lauder offered to serve as a secondary channel for negotiating with Denmark, which owns Greenland.
Reports from 2019 revealed Trump’s interest in buying Greenland, a self-governing Danish territory, and that some of his advisers supported it while others dismissed it as a fascination.
John Bolton, then serving as national security adviser, asked his aide Fiona Hill to form a team to consider ideas for acquiring Greenland, Baker reported. Bolton believed that increasing the American presence in Greenland made sense to oppose Chinese influence in the Arctic region, but buying it outright was not possible.
Trump continued to push to acquire the island, the largest in the world, suggesting that the United States withdraw federal money from Puerto Rico to buy Greenland or swap the two islands.
Trump said in an interview for the book that the idea of buying Greenland was his own idea.
“I love maps. And I’ve always said, ‘Look at the size of this. It’s massive. This should be part of the United States,'” Trump reportedly said.
The Danish prime minister rejected the idea of selling Greenland to the United States, calling it “absurd”.
The Trump administration faced heavy criticism for its response after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, with local officials criticizing the White House at the time for being slow to respond.
A former Department of Homeland Security official said in 2020 that Trump called Puerto Rico “dirty” and asked to swap it for Greenland after officials visited the island after the hurricane.
Trump did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.