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Trump Invited Himself to Denmark Before Canceling Trip, Danes SayPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettySpeaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn in late July, President Donald Trump revealed that he was “looking at” a stop in Denmark after an upcoming trip to Poland to attend a World War II commemorative ceremony.For officials in Copenhagen, the comment came as a surprise. Although it is customary in Denmark for there to be a standing invitation for the U.S. president—and though officials in both countries had been discussing the possibility of an American delegation visiting—no formal invitation had actually been extended to Trump, according to two senior Danish officials and an individual who works closely with the Trump administration in Copenhagen.By the next day, Queen Margrethe II had issued the invite, and the White House had officially announced the president’s plans to visit the country. Over the subsequent days, much planning went into preparing for the president’s visit, which was supposed to include meetings with high-level officials from Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. It was designed to be a decadent affair: the Queen’s staff was in the midst of ordering the crystal for the tables and flowers for the palace for the big state dinner with Trump. Danish business leaders had finalized plans for roundtable discussions with White House officials about increasing investments in the U.S. Officials in the country’s ministry of foreign affairs were preparing talking points to promote increased cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark in the Arctic. But the frenetic planning came to a stop this past week, when Trump abruptly cancelled the trip after being publicly rebuffed for his proposal that the United States buy Greenland from Denmark. The cancellation set off a round of largely critical commentary within the Danish press and among Danish officials, angry that the president canceled a trip he proposed. Some took to social media, saying the president had “invited himself” to the country. Even the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark posted about the invite situation.The White House did not return a request for comment about how the Denmark trip came to be. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.The fallout from this most bizarre of geopolitical affairs has raised the possibility of tangible diplomatic riffs between two countries that have historically had strong working relations. Before Trump cancelled the trip, there was a growing likelihood that his arrival in Denmark would have been met with protests over his administration’s climate policies. But while those hotspots were anticipated, officials in Copenhagen were caught off guard by Trump’s suggestion the U.S. buy Greenland, following a report last week by the Wall Street Journal that revealed the idea. Greenland was never supposed to be a part of the talks during the president’s visit, Danish officials say, and they weren’t sure how to respond to questions from the country’s press about it, two senior officials told The Daily Beast. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told one reporter, in Danish, that Trump’s proposal “Det er en absurd diskussion,” or, in English, “It is an absurd discussion.”The word “absurd” set off a fire inside the White House, the president getting so frustrated that he took to the South Lawn, telling the press pool that Frederiksen’s words were “nasty.”“All she had to do was say no," Trump said Wednesday, explaining why he was scuttling the trip. Officials in Copenhagen were sent scrambling. As of Thursday afternoon U.S. diplomats said they were fielding calls from Danish officials who—in an attempt to smooth things over—offered up the explanation that “absurd” in Danish doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in English. Individuals who work regularly with the U.S. State Department in Copenhagen said the line from officials in Denmark is that the word “absurd” can have a less severe meaning in Danish, including “it makes no sense” or “it is out of place in the context.” “It looks like we have a lost-in-translation situation on our hands,” one Danish diplomat told The Daily Beast.Back home, Trump’s decision to scrap the visit was met with a mix of confusion, derision, and post-hoc rationalizations. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told a local television station that he had been the one who had originated the idea of purchasing Greenland in conversations with Trump months back. Cotton called it patently obvious that the administration would seek to purchase the country from Denmark’s stewardship. Other lawmakers were less convinced. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday requesting an accounting of the funds spent by the State Department  in preparation of Trump’s trip. “Knowing the extensive background work that goes into planning any presidential travel, especially overseas, this action by the President raises important fiscal questions for Congress,” the letter reads. “Our country is already suffering a nearly $1 trillion budget deficit as a result of the tax cuts pushed through by Republicans in the last Congress, while many Americans cannot afford their medicine or have access to safe drinking water. The President’s reaction underscores his weakening of American credibility around the world as well as his carelessness with taxpayer dollars and resources.”Though Trump has cancelled his trip to Denmark, there have been no changes to his plan to head to Poland, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Daily Beast. Meanwhile, officials and business leaders in Denmark said they were briefing their staff about how to talk about Trump and his Greenland proposal and have asked them to use softer language. “We just need to be extra careful how we frame this story and this issue because we are in such a delicate time period now,” one official said. Two Danish officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said their administration was walking a fine line between apologizing to the U.S.—which would anger some constituents who oppose Trump—and maintaining strong diplomatic ties. The U.S. is Denmark’s largest trade partner outside of Europe and Danish companies have increased their investment in the American technology and health sectors. According to State Department data, Danish investment supports about 75,000 jobs in the U.S. “At the end of the day the U.S. being an ally of Denmark is a big deal. We need to maintain the relationship,” one official said. “We can have a discussion about the Arctic. We were planning on doing that.”Despite the warnings, Danish officials have continued to use “absurd” in press interviews. Denmark’s minister of foreign affairs, who held a call with Pompeo Wednesday, said on Danish television the same day that it was “absurd to discuss something that is not a reality.” The press in Denmark has questioned Danish officials, including Frederiksen, about their use of the word “absurd” and if they would continue to use it in the face of diplomatic tensions between Copenhagen and Washington. “I’m not going to get into a war of words with anyone, including the American president,” Frederiksen said. “Kim Kielsen has made it clear Greenland is not for sale and I support that.” This Isn’t the Madman Theory. This Is a Madman President.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


8/22/2019 2:18:48 PM

Six people aged 62 to 85 arrested for 'sexual activity' in woods after police surveillance operationSix people aged 62 to 85 have been arrested after police officers went into the woods to watch them having sex.The group was arrested in a conservation area in Fairfield, Connecticut, which is some 87 acres in size.


8/22/2019 3:39:09 AM

The northernmost reaches of the Earth are on fire. Here's what this record-breaking hot summer looks like from space.Climate change comes with a higher risk of wildfires. This summer, fires have ravaged the Arctic, and the flames can be seen from space.


8/21/2019 6:24:00 AM

UPDATE 1-U.S. will aggressively enforce sanctions over Iran tanker -State Dept officialThe United States will aggressively enforce its sanctions to prevent the private sector from assisting an Iranian oil tanker that is traveling through the Mediterranean and that Washington wants seized, a State Department official said on Thursday. "The shipping sector is on notice that we will aggressively enforce U.S. sanctions," the official told Reuters days after warning countries not to allow the tanker to dock. Ship tracking data has shown the ship, Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, last heading toward Greece, although Greece's prime minister said it was not heading to his country.


8/22/2019 3:52:43 PM

Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New HampshireThe campaign manager for Bernie Sanders emphasized Thursday that New Hampshire is a critical presidential primary state he expects Sanders to win, but he's leaving room for a scenario in which Sanders falls short. Faiz Shakir said he doesn't "like the language of must-win," though he does believe it is an important early voting state.


8/22/2019 6:44:00 PM

Former Manafort deputy Rick Gates testifies against Greg CraigRick Gates was thrust into public view in August 2017 when he and Manafort were indicted in the first case publicly brought by Mueller’s office.


8/22/2019 6:38:16 AM

Albania bulldozes restaurant after owner attacks touristsAlbanian officials on Wednesday razed a beachfront restaurant whose owner was captured on camera attacking a car rented by Spanish tourists, as the country scrambles to clean up its reputation as a burgeoning holiday destination. The incident, filmed by the victims' tour guide from inside their vehicle, took place at the weekend in Porto-Palermo on the Ionian coast in southern Albania, a popular tourist spot. The restaurant owner, 51-year-old Mihal Kokedhima, was arrested and faces trial for "verbally assaulting a group of Spanish tourists for futile reasons", damaging their car and causing minor injuries, police said.


8/21/2019 8:17:17 AM

Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'"There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves," Gingrich argued.


8/22/2019 9:53:09 AM

Farmer Behind the U.S.'s Largest Organic Food Fraud Scheme Dies by SuicideA Missouri farmer blamed for running the largest organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history has died by suicide, weeks before he was to report to federal prison to begin serving a 10-year term, a coroner said Tuesday.


8/21/2019 7:27:54 AM

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