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“What do you guys think about that?” he asked. “Would that work?”

omething you’ve probably picked up on by now is that Donald Trump exists in an different reality than most people. Here, he’s the person who invented the phrase “prime the pump.” It’s where Ivanka Trump created millions of jobs. It’s where Jared Kushner is capable of bringing peace to the Middle East. It’s where African Americans jammed up the phone lines to praise him for saying they “live in hell,” health insurance costs $12 a year, and Greenland is for sale. Yes:

President Trump made his name on the world’s most famous island. Now he wants to buy the world’s biggest. The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance, and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea. Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it was a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious…. At a dinner with associates last spring, Mr. Trump said someone had told him at a roundtable that Denmark was having financial trouble over its assistance to Greenland, and suggested that he should consider buying the island, according to one of the people. “What do you guys think about that?” he asked the room, the person said. “Do you think it would work?”

Trump is scheduled to make his first trip to Denmark next month, and it appears there is a nonzero chance he’ll bring up the acquisition to government officials and then later claim that he walked away from a deal. “They wanted to make a deal,” he’ll tell supporters in Florida. “They wanted to make a deal with Trump so bad. But I took one look at the place and said this? You want me to pay for this? You hear Greenland you think green but actually it’s not so green. Most of it’s not actually green. Remember, I was tremendously successful in real estate. Probably the most successful ever in real estate, a lot of smart people say that. Maybe we’ll make a deal, probably not, but we could make a deal. No other president has but they say if anyone can do it it’s Trump.”

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