President Trump has now canceled his planned trip to Denmark, claiming he’s doing so because Denmark’s prime minister has shot down his “proposal” to buy Greenland. But is that the real reason he has nixed the trip?
Some observers have offered another possible explanation: Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, plans to visit Denmark at the end of September, and Trump feared the contrasting optics.
“Trump was scared of the likely contrast,” opined David Frum. “Trump knows Obama is bigger than he is, around the world as well as in the United States. That knowledge tortures Trump.”
Several things are immediately striking about this episode. First, it’s a measure of how low we’ve all sunk that, in trying to explain why the president of the United States is making a consequential decision involving an official state visit, we’re forced to choose between two competing rationales that have nothing whatsoever to do with international diplomatic considerations or our national interest.
Notably, the official reason for the cancellation is nearly as saturated in narcissism and megalomania as the “less” flattering Obama-oriented explanation is: Trump is either angry that Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is not taking his suggestion seriously, or he’s embarrassed by it — or both.
Trump might argue that he views acquiring Greenland as being in our national interest, of course. Indeed, The Post reports that officials had discussed offering Denmark an arrangement in which the United States takes over its annual subsidies to Greenland, apparently because of wariness of Chinese and Russian expansion in the Arctic.
Trump closes by falsely blaming Obama for his family separation policy.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 21, 2019
"I am the one that kept the families together. You remember that, right? Just remember I said it. And now it gets even better -- President Obama and others brought the families apart." pic.twitter.com/0wmk3E8tAr
REPORTER: You said Russia was kicked out of the G8 b/c they outsmarted Obama. In fact, it was b/c they annexed Crimea. You know tha--— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 21, 2019
TRUMP: That was outsmarting Obama ... they took over Crimea during his term, not mine ... Putin made a living on outsmarting President Obama. pic.twitter.com/PjQax6K8Yl