It just keeps getting crazier. Maybe Donald Trump’s get out of jail card is an insanity plea.
I’m also getting more incensed at the high-profile members of the Washington press corps who have held off on revealing damaging details about the Trump maladministration until they could cash in on a book deal.
This time the culprits are the husband-and-wife team of Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, and Susan Glasser, a staff writer for The New Yorker. They have been hawking their forthcoming book, The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-21 by releasing choice excerpts.
Remember how back in 2019 there were reports that Trump asked his lawyers to look into buying Greenland. Denmark’s female prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, rejected the proposed deal as “absurd,” and Trump called her remarks “nasty” and canceled a scheduled trip to wonderful Copenhagen.
Well now Baker and Glasser have revealed that the seed for this absurd proposal was actually planted in Trump’s head by billionaire Ronald Lauder, and then Trump spent months pestering his advisers, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, about whether the deal could be made.
Vanity Fair wrote:
According to Baker, “one mystified cabinet member was struck by the delusional nature of it,” while “other advisers tried to keep the idea from leaking out for fear that it would cause a diplomatic incident.”
At the time, Bolton was worried about China’s growing influence in the Arctic, and was reportedly interested in the idea of “an increased American presence in Greenland.” But he knew that a literal purchase of the country was not going to happen. However, Trump, who famously has the mind of a child, insisted it could get done.
And at one point, per Baker, the former president “suggested taking federal money from Puerto Rico” to fund the deal. He also “suggested outright trading Puerto Rico for Greenland.” While this is obviously a completely insane proposition, it’s not at all hard to picture the ex-president pitching the deal given that 1) he’s one of history’s biggest morons and 2) he spent his entire presidency sh–ting on Puerto Rico.
Baker and Glasser said that in an interview last year for their book, Trump treated acquiring Greenland just like any other real estate deal: “I said, ‘Why don’t we have that?’” Trump said. “You take a look at a map. I’m a real estate developer. I look at a corner, I say, ‘I’ve got to get that store for the building that I’m building,’ etc. It’s not that different.” He added, “I love maps. And I always said: ‘Look at the size of this. It’s massive. That should be part of the United States.’”
Vanity Fair concludes their story by noting the reaction of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to the strange ideas that kept popping into Trump’s head:
“Trump’s mercurial approach to the presidency so baffled…Kelly…that [he] secretly bought a copy of a best-selling book by a group of psychiatrists questioning Mr. Trump’s mental health. Mr. Kelly told others that the book was a helpful guide to a president he came to consider a pathological liar whose inflated ego was in fact the sign of a deeply insecure person.”
Strange as it seems, Denmark actually once did sell a colony to the U.S.. In 1917, the U.S. purchased the Danish West Indies, which are now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands.
And until the Puerto Rican people decide on their future status, they might be actually be better off with Denmark than the U.S.
At least the Danish prime minister wouldn’t have shown up after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and thrown paper towels to people. Denmark’s health care system is better than ours, so Vieques island would probably have its own hospital by now. And Puerto Rico would have several voting members in the Danish parliament as Greenland and the Faroe Islands have now.