Trump Called The Danish Prime Minister “Nasty” After He Canceled A Visit Because She Won’t Sell Greenland

A bizarre diplomatic row, even by the standards of the Trump administration, dragged on Wednesday as the US president said the way Denmark’s prime minister dismissed his idea of buying Greenland was “nasty.”

On Tuesday, President Trump abruptly canceled a planned state visit to Denmark after Mette Frederiksen, the Danish PM, firmly rejected his stated wish to buy Greenland, the semi-autonomous island home to 56,000 people.

Frederiksen had labelled the idea of the US purchasing Greenland an “absurd discussion” to be having.

But while he initially thanked the Danish PM on Twitter for “being so direct,” in remarks to journalists as he departed the White House on Wednesday, Trump branded her comment as “nasty.”

“I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was absurd, that it was an absurd idea, was nasty. I thought it was inappropriate. All she had to do was say, ‘No, we wouldn’t be interested,'” Trump said.

“She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to the United States of America,” the president added. “You don’t talk to the United States that way.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Frederiksen expressed “regret and surprise” at September’s state visit being canceled, as she reiterated once more that Greenland was not for sale.

“I had been looking forward to the visit and preparations were well underway,” Frederiksen told journalists in Copenhagen in a statement delivered in Danish and English. “It was an opportunity to celebrate Denmark’s close relationship to the US, which remains one of Denmark’s closest allies.”

She added, “This does not change the character of our good relations [with the US], and we will of course from Denmark continue our ongoing dialogue with the US on how we can develop our cooperation and deal with the many common challenges we are facing.”

Only hours before Trump canceled the state visit, the American ambassador, Carla Sands, tweeted excitedly about the president’s upcoming visit.

But on Wednesday she was in damage control mode.

Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, had been invited by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II. Denmark’s state broadcaster quoted a royal spokesperson as saying that Trump’s announcement “came as a surprise.”

“That’s all we have to say about that,” the spokesperson added.

Former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was more direct. “Is this some sort of joke?” she wrote on Twitter after Trump canceled the state visit.

The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that Trump had raised the possibility of buying Greenland, and he confirmed Sunday that such a purchase had been discussed because of the island’s strategic location and natural resources.

“Essentially, it’s a large real estate deal. A lot of things can be done,” Trump said. “It’s hurting Denmark very badly, because they’re losing almost $700 million a year carrying it. So they carry it at a great loss.”

He later tweeted a meme of a Trump Tower–style skyscraper in a settlement in Greenland.

But any such sale was firmly ruled out by Denmark and Greenland, which is self-governing in all respects apart from foreign policy and defense.

Speaking in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, on Sunday, Frederiksen said the sale of Greenland was not even up for discussion, pointing out, for one thing, that Greenland belongs to Greenland, not Denmark.

“Thankfully, the time where you buy and sell other countries and populations is over,” she told a TV reporter. “Let’s leave it there.”

[Buzzfeed]

Trump on Economy: ‘I Am the Chosen One’

President Donald Trump claimed “I am the chosen one” in attempting to tell reporters he will resolve an ongoing trade war with China that could potentially lead to a recession.

“The fake news of which many of you are members is trying to convince the public to have a recession. “Let’s have a recession!” the United States is doing phenomenally well. One thing I have to do is economically take on China. Because China has been ripping us off for many years,” Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday.

“This isn’t my trade war, this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago, by a lot of other presidents. Over the last five or six years, China has made $500 billion. $500 billion. Ripped it out of the United States. Not only that — if you take a look, intellectual property theft. Add that to it. And at a lot of other things to it. Excuse me. Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it.”

“I’m taking on China on trade,” Trump said. “We are winning. We are the piggy bank. We are the ones the European Union wants to rob and take advantage of. The European Union, $200 billion. China, more than $500 billion. Sorry, I was put here by people to do a great job. And that’s what I’m doing. Nobody has done a job like I’ve done.”

[Mediaite]

US President Trump reiterates call for Russia to rejoin ‘G8’

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump noted that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8 “because Putin outsmarted him”.

“But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” Trump said, just days before a G7 summit — minus Russia — in Biarritz, France.

Trump added, “I could certainly see it being the G8 again. If someone would make that motion, I would be disposed to think about it favourably…. “They should let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Russia pushed out after Crimea

Russia was pushed out of the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

It was not the first time Trump has floated the idea of Russia getting back together with the G7, which groups the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.

In June 2018, Trump suggested Russia should attend a forthcoming G7 summit in Canada. A Kremlin spokesman seemed to reject the idea, saying Russia was focused on other formats.

Two days later, President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not choose the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow.

Trump has periodically called for closer ties with Russia, although his administration’s policy has included strong sanctions against Moscow.

He is due to host the next G7 meeting in the United States next year.

[France24]

Trump praises his rally audience for not acting like ‘credible people’ after ‘CNN sucks’ chant

President Donald Trump praised an unruly crowd at a 2020 re-election campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Trump was falsely claiming that China is paying for the tariffs in his trade war when he went off on the press.

“But when you listen to the fake news — look how many there are,” he said as he gazed out to the press area.

He then stepped back from the microphone as his supporters booed the concept of a free press.

The crowd started chanting, “CNN sucks.”

“Are we sure that we are in New Hampshire?” Trump asked. “You know, you have a reputation
— I know it is not true because I know you too well. You have a reputation of being staid, very elegant, staid, and credible people. You are not acting it tonight and that’s good.

[Raw Story]

Trump encourages Israel to ban Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

President Trump tweeted Thursday that it would show “great weakness” if Israel were to allow Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to enter the country during an upcoming congressional delegation visit on Friday.

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

Why it matters: As Axios’ Jonathan Swan and I previously reported, Trump has privately been telling advisers that he thinks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should use an anti-boycott law to bar the two freshman congresswomen over their support for the BDS movement. In response to our story, the White House said that Trump didn’t pressure Israel in any way and that Israel can do whatever it wants.

The state of play: Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer had previously said Israel would allow Tlaib and Omar to enter, but Netanyahu — a staunch Trump ally who is facing an election in the fall — is now reconsidering as a result of pressure from the president.

  • According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu is trying to find a solution that will address the pressure from the White House but will not totally bar Omar and Tlaib.
  • As of 5 a.m. EDT, no decision had been made. One of the possibilities floated would be allowing the congresswomen to enter Israel but limiting their movements only to the Palestinian Authority.
  • Another option is to allow them in on humanitarian grounds. An Israeli official told me that if Tlaib filed a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the Israeli government will consider it favorably.

[Axios]

Update

One hour after Trump’s tweet:

Trump tore out magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled odd message and mailed it to Canadian embassy

Donald Trump reportedly tore out a magazine picture of Justin Trudeau, scrawled a brief note about the Canadian prime minister “looking good”, and made White House officials mail it to the neighbouring country’s embassy.

The message – first reported by Axios – is said to have been written by the US president on the torn-out cover of a May 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, which featured an image of Mr Trudeau alongside a caption reading “The Anti-Trump”.

On it, Mr Trump reportedly jotted a note reading something to the effect of, “Looking good! Hope it’s not true!” according to the US news outlet.

The Canadian ambassador considered the note so strange he thought it was a prank, but after calling US officials was told the note was genuine.

Although some White House staff reportedly considered the note inappropriate, the National Security Council ultimately decided it was done in good humour and would be considered by Ottawa to be friendly contact.

Another exchange in December of that year reportedly saw Mr Trump send Mr Trudeau a document purporting to show a US trade deficit with Canada.

Mr Trudeau reportedly responded by including in his letter a printout of a US government website showing America actually has a trade surplus over its neighbour when services are included with goods.

The Canadian prime minister reportedly included a smiley face alongside the document.

Months later, on Dec. 8, 2017, President Trump falsely told a rally crowd in Pensacola, Florida, that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada. Around that same time, Trump also mailed Trudeau a document purporting to show that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, according to a source with direct knowledge.

  • Trump wrote in Sharpie on the document: “Not good!!” or something to that effect, the source recalled. Trump’s document only mentioned America’s deficit in the trade of goods and ignored its surplus in services (the two combined would gave the U.S. its overall surplus).

A few weeks later, Trump received a handwritten letter from Trudeau. The note, on Trudeau’s official stationery marked by the Maple Leaf, began with a friendly tone, but ended with a drop of acid.

  • “Dear Donald,” Trudeau wrote in the letter dated Dec. 20, 2017, according to a source with direct knowledge of its contents, which 2 other sources confirmed. “It’s been a busy year! Enjoy the Christmas holidays — you deserve it.”
  • “One thing,” Trudeau added. “You gave a great speech in Pensacola, but you were slightly off on the balance of trade with Canada. USTR says so! All the best for 2018, Justin.”

The second page of the letter brought the kicker. Trudeau enclosed a printout of Canada’s informational page from the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

  • Trudeau underlined the section on the USTR website, which at the time reported that “the U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” Trudeau circled the $12.5 billion and drew a cheeky little smiley face next to it, according to a source with direct knowledge.

A Canadian government official responded to this reporting: “We’re not going to comment on whether or what paper was exchanged between our 2 countries. There was a lot of back and forth. That said, it is certainly true that there were disagreements between our 2 countries about the figures, and we repeatedly pointed to USTR and U.S. Commerce’s own figures. On your second point (the Bloomberg cover), no comment, but we don’t deny it.”

Why this matters: The U.S.-Canadian relationship is, in normal times, low-friction. But not under Trump, who views Trudeau as an irritant at best. In a conversation in the White House last year, Trump told aides he thought Canada was “the worst” country to negotiate with. “Who would think? Canada?” Trump said.

  • Trump now says very little about Trudeau, according to an adviser, and believes he and his trade representative Bob Lighthizer got the better of the Canadians in their trade negotiations.

Behind the scenes: Trump privately refers to Trudeau as a “wise guy,” per sources with direct knowledge. He describes Trudeau as young and cocky, and he resents it when Trudeau comments on American politics.

  • Trump has gleefully recounted to aides how he threatened the Canadians with auto tariffs. He says it got him a better deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
  • Trump has also privately described Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland as “very nasty,” according to senior administration officials.
  • Trump was pleased with the optics of the G7 last year, an adviser said. Trump says he dominated Trudeau there, the adviser added, and loves the viral photo of himself sitting with his arms crossed as world leaders hover over him. Trump also relished leaving the summit early — snub to Trudeau, who Trump said had treated him with disrespect.
  • The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

The big picture: The president is in Year 3 of his relationships with foreign leaders, and in some cases they’ve changed substantially. Trump’s bromance with France’s 41-year-old leader Emmanuel Macron has faded, and Trump privately places Macron in a similar “wise guy” category as the 47-year-old Trudeau.

  • Last week, Trump chided Macron on Twitter for “purporting” to represent the U.S. in conversations with Iran.
  • Trump has also hammered China with escalating tariffs and increasingly tough rhetoric — a significant change from his more frequent emphasis on his close personal relationship with President Xi Jinping in Year 1.

[Yahoo News ,Axios]

Trump Slams U.S. Military Exercises, Helps Kim Jong Un Blame America for Missile Launches

President Donald Trump released some details of the “beautiful letter” that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un sent him recently, which apparently included a “small apology” for the recent missile tests, which Kim blamed on the U.S. military exercises that Trump called “ridiculous and expensive.”

During an impromptu press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House Friday, Trump told reporters that he “got a very beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un yesterday,” and while he gushed about the beauty and three-page (“right from top to bottom”) length of the letter, Trump would not reveal its beautiful contents.

But on Saturday morning, Trump did reveal some of Kim’s letter, writing that the dictator mostly complained about our country’s military exercises, and promised to end missile tests once those exercises stop. Trump called the exercises “expensive and ridiculous.”

Since Trump announced receipt of that beautiful letter, North Koreas has reportedly conducted another missile launch, its fifth in recent weeks. Trump has been a consistent critic of the U.S. military’s joint military exercises with South Korea, which Trump and the North Koreans call “war games.”

Watch Trump describe the beautiful three full page, right from top to bottom, feat of correspondence above, via CBS.

[Mediaite]

After ‘beautiful letter’and more N.K. launches, Trump says he’ll meet with Kim again

President Donald Trump on Friday praised a “beautiful letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

Hours later, the regime launched further projectiles as a warning against joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

On Saturday, Trump slammed the “ridiculous and expensive” joint exercises in a tweet, indicating he’ll meet with Kim “in the not too distant future.” 

Trump wrote Saturday: “In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was….. …also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!”

“I think we’ll have another meeting,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Friday. “He really wrote a beautiful three-page — I mean right from top to bottom — a really beautiful letter. And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was very positive.” 

North Korea had five rounds of weapons demonstrations in the past two weeks — including another launch of two projectiles Saturday local time, according to South Korea. 

Trump had dismissed the previous tests, saying they were just for short-range missiles. He added that Kim wrote in the “very personal letter” that he is not happy with the U.S.-South Korea joint exercises. 

“He wasn’t happy with the tests, the war games. The war games on the other side with the United States. And as you know, I’ve never liked it either,” Trump said. “I don’t like paying for it. We should be reimbursed for it, and I’ve told that to South Korea.” 

The missiles North Korea previously tested are able to strike U.S. allies South Korea and Japan as well as U.S. military bases there. But the president said on Friday that Kim sees a “great future” for North Korea, “so we’ll see how it all works out.” 

He pivoted to say the U.S. has routinely been taken advantage of by foreign countries, including its allies “in many cases more than anybody else.” Earlier, he told reporters he hopes South Korea and Japan — which have been locked in an economic feud even during North Korea’s weapons demonstrations — would “start getting along.” 

“You know, they are supposed to be allies. And it puts us in a very difficult position. South Korea and Japan are fighting all the time,” Trump said.

[Politico]

Trump Swipes at Emmanuel Macron Over Attempts to Broker Iran Talks: Nobody Speaks for the US but the US Itself

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the US would not participate in discussions with Iran should France attempt to be the mediator.

” Nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself. No one is authorized in any way, shape, or form, to represent us!” the president tweeted Thursday. He added that Iran “desperately wants to talk to the US” but is given “mixed signals” by those “purporting to represent” US interests.

The U.S. has been ramping up pressure on Iran in the form of strict sanctions as of late. Sanctions specifically have been imposed upon  Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accusing him of being an “apologist” for the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has been asking French President Emmanuel Macron to mediate discussions between the US and Iran regarding sanctions. Iran has reacted to renewed US sanctions aimed at strangling its oil trade by retreating from commitments to limit nuclear activity. Since the US pulled out of the nuclear deal last year,France, Britain and Germany have worked to salvage the deal.

Rouhani’s office quoted him as having told Macron, “Concurrent with attempts by Iran and France to reduce tensions and create helpful conditions for lasting coexistence in the region, we are witnessing provocative actions by the Americans,” according to Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the US government-funded Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

[Mediaite]

Trump administration labels China a currency manipulator

The Trump administration on Monday designated China a “currency manipulator,” after the country’s central bank allowed its currency to weaken amid the ongoing trade dispute.

The move comes hours after Trump accused Beijing of depreciating its currency on Twitter, adding later that such measures have been used to “steal our business and factories, hurt our jobs, depress our workers’ wages and harm our farmers’ prices. Not anymore!”

The People’s Bank of China allowed its currency to fall below 7 yuan to the American dollar, which is considered to be a psychologically important marker, for the first time in a decade. The move was seen as a retaliatory measure following Trump’s threat to slap a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

The yuan’s depreciation comes amid a longstanding trade war between Washington and Beijing as each side has slapped economic penalties alongside on-again, off-again negotiations.

Presidents have often used the twice-a-year currency report as a diplomatic tools while engaging with countries that are seen as having exchange rates that harm US jobs and economic growth.

The United States hasn’t labeled a country a currency manipulator since it tagged China in the early 1990s, under President Bill Clinton. Designating a country doesn’t immediately trigger penalties, but it is seen by other governments as a provocation.

Treasury has repeatedly declined to label China a currency manipulator, despite Trump’s pledge to do so during his 2016 campaign. Instead, the country was placed on Treasury’s “monitoring list” in its review of US trading partners along with eight other countries.

Treasury’s report highlighted “significant concerns” over the meaningful depreciation of China’s currency against the US dollar, a critical component of ongoing trade talks, and urged China to take steps to avoid “a persistently weak currency.”

But on Monday Treasury said China’s central bank openly acknowledged that it has “extensive experience manipulating its currency and remains prepared to do so on an ongoing basis,” pointing to an earlier statement released by the People’s Bank of China.

The PBOC’s statement noted that it “has accumulated rich experience and policy tools, and will continue to innovate and enrich the control toolbox, and take necessary and targeted measures against the positive feedback behavior that may occur in the foreign exchange market.”

Trump has repeatedly argued that the Chinese have depreciated their currency slowly in the last year to help offset tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods amid an ongoing trade war between the two major economic superpowers.

[CNN]

Reality

Donald Trump knows nothing about economics and it’s again abundantly clear after he labeled China a currency manipulator after the yuan dropped 1.7 percent, claiming China purposefully forced the yuan down.

The reality is the yuan’s decrease was from three different forces, first trade wars can cause a country’s currency to plunge. For example this happened to Mexico during Trump’s trade war for NAFTA 2.0.
(See: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/peso-plunges-vs-the-us-dollar-after-trump-announces-mexican-import-tariffs.html)

Second, a stronger dollar causes other countries currencies to devalue in relation. This is basic economics. As a side note Donald Trump doesn’t want a stronger dollar and has tried to get the Fed to artificially weaken the dollar. You know… manipulate currency.
(See: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/devaluation.asp)

Finally China had actually been propping up the yuan during Trump’s trade wars, the action China took was to just stop and accepting current market forces. Again, China most likely stopped fighting market headwinds as retaliation to Trump’s escalation of his trade wars, so the correct assessment is they were artificially manipulating the currency before by propping it up, but Trump is saying they are manipulating the currency now, which is just plain incorrect.
(See: https://www.ft.com/content/9d24c1ca-b7cd-11e9-96bd-8e884d3ea203)

Trump is speeding us into a Smoot-Hawley scenario, which exacerbated the Great Depression, and will make the next recession worse than it normally will be with his backwards understanding of basic economics.

1 2 3 37