By all accounts, Donald Trump is not pursuing anything resembling a strategic initiative by antagonizing Denmark. “Greenland was just an idea, just a thought,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday, addressing his reported interest in purchasing the artic territory from Denmark. Copenhagen’s reluctance to part with its territory was the ostensible reason why the president rejected an invitation from Danish Queen Margrethe II to visit America’s NATO ally as part of a visit to Europe. Thus, what Trump concedes as being nothing more than an errant thought has inaugurated a minor international incident.
It is unfortunate that this undiplomatic debacle has overshadowed another of far more relevance. In that same conversation with reporters, Trump endorsed Russia’s bid to reenter the group of highly industrialized nations—the G7, which would once again become the G8 upon Russia’s ascension. “It would be a good thing if Russia was there,” Trump said, adding the unseemly non sequitur that Russian President Vladimir Putin “made a living outsmarting President Obama.”