President Trump on Tuesday abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, saying there was no point to the trip after Frederiksen called the idea that the U.S. might buy Greenland from Denmark "absurd" -- and insisted there would be no Copen-haggling about it.
Trump had been expected to visit Denmark on Sept. 2-3 as part of his trip to Europe, but until his tweets Tuesday, there were no solid indications the visit to Denmark was centered on buying Greenland.
"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 wrote.
"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," he added. "I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!"
The White House later clarified that the entire trip to Denmark had been scrapped, including a planned meeting with the Queen of Denmark.
Commentators immediately reacted with surprise, saying they were under the impression the visit to Denmark would involve other topics of conversation.
"Breaking my vacation Twitter hiatus to say that I am amazed the purpose of the Denmark trip was actually to purchase Greenland," wrote Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim.
"Art of the arctic deal?" joked another Washington Post reporter, Josh Dawsey.
Even the U.S. ambassador to Denmark was caught flat-footed. Just hours before Trump's pullout, Ambassador Carla Sands tweeted, "Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend."