“It was made in a nasty, sarcastic tone,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
“She said ‘absurd,’ that’s not the right word to use.”
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called Trump’s suggestion “absurd” when he expressed interest in the so-called “large real estate deal.”
She stood by her response on Wednesday, reiterating that Greenland is not for sale.
Frederiksen said she is “disappointed and surprised” by Trump’s decision to cancel, but does not believe it suggests any sort of “crisis” between Washington and Copenhagen.
“The cancellation of the visit doesn’t change the good relationship between Denmark and the United States,” Frederiksen told reporters, adding that the U.S. is “one of our closest allies.”
“The invitation for a stronger strategic co-operation with the Americans in the Arctic is still open.”
Trump and his wife Melania were scheduled to visit Demark as part of a European trip on Sept. 2 and 3. Previously, the White House indicated that the September visit was not related to Trump’s interest in buying Greenland.
WATCH: Danish PM says Trump cancellation will not affect cooperation
Trump announced his decision to cancel the meeting with the Danish prime minister in a tweet.
“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump said.
He said Wednesday that he intends to reschedule the meeting.
“We’ll make it some other time. I love Denmark, I’ve been to Denmark. Frankly, we’ll do it another time,” he said.
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
Trump’s latest tit for tat with a foreign country began over the weekend when he said purchasing Greenland is “something we’ve talked about” and that it would be “strategically interesting” to the U.S.
A spokesperson for Denmark’s royal palace, which formally invited Trump to visit, called the U.S. president’s cancellation “a surprise.”
Frederiksen called the initial suggestion “absurd.”
WATCH: Donald Trump postpones trip to Denmark after prime minister rejects offer to buy Greenland
On Wednesday, she added that Greenland’s premier Kim Kielsen had ruled out selling off the territory.
“I obviously agree with him,” she said.
The news has bewildered some Denmark politicians and citizens.
Hellen Thorning Schmidt, Denmark’s former premier, called the move “deeply insulting.”
So the POTUS has cancelled his visit to Denmark because there was no interest in discussing selling Greenland @BBCRadio4 Is this some sort of joke? Deeply insulting to the people of Greenland and Denmark.
— Helle Thorning S (@HelleThorning_S) August 21, 2019
Soren Espersen of the Danish People’s Party suggested Trump’s cancellation was an insult to Denmark’s head of state, Queen Margrethe, as she was the one to formally invite him.
“It is very, very shocking when it is about a very close ally and a good friend,” Espersen said.
The leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party was a little franker.
“It shows why we now more than ever should consider (fellow) European Union countries as our closet allies,” Morten Ostergaard said.
“The man is unpredictable… Reality surpasses imagination.”
— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.