Trump Notes Denmark Isn’t Meeting NATO Commitment as Spat Over Greenland Intensifies

August 21, 2019 Updated: August 21, 2019

President Donald Trump said that Denmark is not meeting its commitment to NATO after he slammed the Danish Prime Minister for her “nasty” comments in response to his administration exploring the purchase of Greenland.

“For the record, Denmark is only at 1.35 percent of GDP for NATO spending. They are a wealthy country and should be at 2 percent,” the president wrote on Twitter on Aug. 21.

“We protect Europe and yet, only 8 of the 28 NATO countries are at the 2 percent mark. The United States is at a much, much higher level than that. Because of me, these countries have agreed to pay ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS more—but still way short of what they should pay for the incredible military protection provided. Sorry!”

Trump then shared a graph showing how only Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Romania, Latvia, and Poland appeared to be meeting the commitment, with Lithuania and Turkey close to the two percent countries are expected to contribute to the regional defense agreement.

Trump at the White House earlier Wednesday told reporters that Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s remarks were “nasty.”

“I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something,” Trump said. “But all they had to do is say, no, we’d rather not do that or we’d rather not talk about it.”

He said Americans want to buy Greenland.

“She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America,” he said. “They can’t say ‘how absurd.'”

Frederiksen was in Greenland this week and spoke to the press, saying: “Two things: first of all, I’m not currently in Greenland because of Trump, I would’ve come here anyway.”

“I totally agree with Kim Kielsen,” the Greenland premier, “that, of course, Greenland is not for sale,” she added.

Asked about Trump’s assertation that Denmark is losing money by keeping Greenland, she said: “Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over. Let’s leave it there. Jokes aside, we would naturally love to have an even closer strategic relationship with the US. I, we, consider the US to be our most important ally and I look forward to the president’s visit and I think it’s important for the Danish-American relationship.”

Before speaking to reporters, Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to write: “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.”

“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!” he added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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