Months before President Donald Trump expressed an interest in buying Greenland, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he suggested the idea to the President and met with the Danish ambassador to propose the sale of the large land mass to the U.S.
Speaking Wednesday (Aug. 21) at the inaugural Talk Business & Politics Power Lunch at the Red & Blue Events Center in Little Rock, Arkansas’ junior senator said buying Greenland is a no-brainer.
“Obviously, the right decision for this country,” Cotton said quickly when asked by Talk Business & Politics 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.”
Greenland, owned by the European nation of Denmark, has a population of just over 56,000 on the 836,300 square mile island. While its economy is primarily made up of fishing exports and is largely subsidized by Denmark, the land is considered rich in mineral resources.
The primary U.S. military base on Greenland is Thule Air Base, 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The base is home to the 21st Space Wing’s global network of sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance and space control to North American Aerospace Defense Command and Air Force Space Command.
Cotton said Greenland’s mineral reserves and its strategic location make it an ideal strategy move for the U.S., noting that such reasons are why President Harry Truman offered $100 million in the 1940s. Cotton told the Red & Blue crowd that Greenland’s “economic potential is untold,” and the island is “vital to our national security.”
“Anyone who can’t see that is blinded by Trump derangement,” he said.
Cotton said in 2018 the Chinese government sought to essentially bribe the local government of Greenland into allowing it to build three military bases there. But efforts by Trump administration and some in Congress convinced Denmark to weigh in at the last minute and block the deal, Cotton said.
“I told the president you should buy it as well,” Cotton said, adding later that “He’s (Trump) heard that from me and from some other people as well.”
However, the deal is not likely to soon happen. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea “absurd.” Trump responded by canceling a planned state visit to Denmark.
“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 tweeted.
The Power Lunch series is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield.