WASHINGTON (NBC News) – Greenland has said it’s not for sale, but that didn’t stop top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow from adding fuel to the idea that the Trump administration wants to purchase the world’s largest island from Denmark.
Speaking with “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said the administration is “looking at” purchasing Greenland.
“It’s an interesting story,” Kudlow told host Dana Perino. “It’s developing. We’re looking at it. We don’t know.”
Kudlow noted that “years ago,” then-President Harry Truman sought to purchase the massive island off the Canadian coast.
“Denmark owns Greenland. Denmark is an ally,” Kudlow added. “Greenland is a strategic place up there and they’ve got a lot of valuable minerals. I don’t want to predict an outcome. I just know the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a potential Greenland purchase.”
President Donald Trump’s interest in acquiring the 811,000-square-mile island in the North Atlantic was first reported last week by The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with the deliberations, the Journal reported that Trump has mentioned the idea with “varying degrees of seriousness.” NBC News confirmed the president’s interest in such an acquisition.
Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark next month in an unrelated appearance.
The island of roughly 56,000 people is rich in mineral resources and houses an American airbase. At least twice previously, in 1867 and 1946, the U.S. has tried to buy Greenland. Truman offered $100 million but Denmark turned down the offer.
Officials in Greenland strongly indicated there was no opportunity for such a deal to be made. Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that the island is “open for business, not for sale.”
Kim Kielsen, Greenland’s premier, also said in a statement that the island “is not for sale and cannot be sold, but Greenland is open for trade and cooperation with other countries — including the United States.”
Speaking to NBC News, Anna Kûitse Kúko, 63 and a lifelong resident of Greenland, said she believes islanders take the idea “as a sick joke by a crazy president.”