Typically, Congress must appropriate money before the White House can use it, but Trump has shown a willingness to get around those restrictions.It was unclear why Trump might want the United States to buy Greenland, though his administration has identified the Arctic as an area of growing importance to U.S. national security interests.“This is America’s moment to stand up as an Arctic nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in May during a speech in Finland. “The region has become an arena of global power and competition.”With melting ice making the region more accessible, the United States has been firm in trying to counter moves by Russia and China in the Arctic. China declared itself a “near-Arctic nation” last year and has defended its desire for a “Polar Silk Road” in which Chinese goods would be delivered by sea from Asia to Europe.China recently sought to bankroll the construction of three airports in Greenland, drawing concern from then-defence secretary Jim Mattis and prompting the Pentagon to make the case to Denmark that it should fund the facilities itself rather than rely on Beijing.“Countries should be wary of piling on monumental debt, particularly ‘loan to own’ projects, that undermines their freedom of political action and sovereign choices,” a Pentagon official, Johnny Michael, said previously. “Beijing’s lack of transparency in its polar research, expeditionary activities and approach to natural resource development is also of concern.”Trump’s desire to buy Greenland wouldn’t be the first time an American president broached the idea.The U.S. military had a presence on Greenland during World War II as a means to protect the continent if Germany ever tried to attack. After the war, the Truman administration offered Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland, according to the academic tome “Exploring Greenland: Cold War Science and Technology on Ice.” At Trump’s urging, Netanyahu denies entry to Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Scaramucci accuses Trump of ‘mentally declining,’ says ex-boss creating ‘socially dividing cancer’ in U.S. Conrad Black: Trump continues to beat a media determined to bring him down Since then, the Danish people have been wary of the United States’ continued use of Greenland. The land was critical territory during the Cold War because of its location halfway between the United States and northern Europe and its proximity to the former Soviet Union. The Pentagon built its northern-most military installation, Thule Air Base, on Greenland in 1951, as a means for missile defense.“Exploring Greenland,” co-written by academics from Denmark and the United States, says that the U.S. military’s “extensive activities in northern Greenland” were seen by Danish citizens and some politicians as “a violation of their national sovereignty.”Some on Thursday responded to the news with incredulity; others, with support.“This idea isn’t as crazy as the headline makes it seem,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., said in a tweet. “This a smart geopolitical move. The United States has a compelling strategic interest in Greenland, and this should absolutely be on the table.”Most, however, responded with mockery.Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., shared a news story about Trump’s idea and mused: “A Great place for his ‘presidential’ library.”And Jonah Goldberg, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted that MAGA — the acronym for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan – is “an anagram of Make Greenland American Already.”— The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report— With files from Reuters Greenland has been forced, bizarrely, to confirm that it is not for sale, after U.S. President Donald Trump pushed top aides to investigate a possible purchase.“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters.The presidential request — about which two people with direct knowledge of the directive told the Washington Post — has bewildered aides. Some continue to believe it isn’t serious, but Trump has mentioned it for weeks. The two people with knowledge of the presidential demand spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal such White House planning.Greenland is a self-governing country that is part of the kingdom of Denmark, and Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark in two weeks. Like their Greenland counterparts, Danish politicians made a mockery of Trump’s reported idea.“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season,” former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Twitter.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad,” foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People’s Party, Soren Espersen, told broadcaster DR.“The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous,” he said.“I am sure a majority in Greenland believes it is better to have a relation to Denmark than the United States, in the long term,” Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Danish MP from Greenland’s second-largest party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), told Reuters.“My immediate thought is ‘No, thank you’,” she said.“Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe,” former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, said in on Twitter.As with many of Trump’s internal musings, aides are waiting for more direction before they decide how seriously they should look into it.Among the things that have been discussed is whether it is even legal, what the process would be for acquiring an island that has its own government and population, and where the money to purchase a giant landmass would originate.Trump’s interest in acquiring Greenland was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.MAGA is an anagram of Make Greenland American Already— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) August 15, 2019According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Greenland is 2.2 million square kilometres, with 1.7 million of that covered in ice. It has considerable natural resources, such as coal and uranium, but only 0.6 percent of the land is used for agriculture. It has around 58,000 residents, making it one of the world’s smallest countries by population.Trump has touted his career as a real estate developer during the 2016 presidential campaign and made clear that he has retained an eye for real estate opportunities during his tenure in the White House. For example, he has said that North Korea could build famous hotels and resorts along its oceanfront properties, even though many foreigners are afraid to visit the country out of fear for their lives. Ritzau Scanpix/Linda Kastrup via REUTERS Ilulissat, an icefjord which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, is seen in western Greenland, Denmark July 15, 2015.