Vice President Mike Pence responded to recent reports of President Trump's comments to aides, explaining the White House's interest in Greenland and dismissing the notion that Trump asked about using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes as "fake news" in an interview with BlazeTV host Eric Bolling to air Tuesday.
Bolling asked Pence about the Trump administration's interest in the region after reports surfaced that President Trump had inquired with his aides about the possibility of buying Greenland from the Danish government. Pence explained that the autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark holds several strategic interests for U.S. national security.
"The strategic importance of the Arctic virtually grows by the day and we continue to see Russia and China seek to extend their influence into the Arctic region. And I think the president was interested in engaging in a discussion with Denmark," Pence said.
Although some pundits mocked the president for his " wacky" idea and the government of Greenland rebuffed the purchase offer, some like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., support the idea, arguing the region holds strategic importance to confront China.
Pence noted that Greenland's strategic importance is one reason the U.S. maintains a military base there.
"Greenland is a part of North America first and foremost. And so from a security standpoint, it makes more sense. We have a military base there now. It makes more sense for the United States to have a dominant role in Greenland, just in the interest of our own national security and our sphere of influence in this hemisphere," Pence said.
"But beyond that, I think it's just an opportunity that I think the president was interested in discussing with the leadership in Denmark and who knows if some day down the road it might be a topic that they're willing to broach," he added.
Bolling also asked the vice president about a report from Axios' Jonathan Swan that the president suggested to aides that nuclear weapons might be used against hurricanes to stop them from reaching the United States.
"I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" the president reportedly said during a meeting with national security officials. "They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?"
President Trump dismissed the report as "ridiculous" and denied ever saying such a thing.
The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2019
Pence echoed the president's dismissal.
"The president's made it very clear that he's never made a suggestion like that and I've never heard him make a suggestion like that. We've got a term for that sort of thing at the White House, it's called fake news," he told Bolling.
"It just seems like not a day goes by that somebody in the media doesn't find something to print or publish or put on the internet," he added. "But it's one of the things I most admire about this president is no matter what the media is out there talking about on any given day, no matter what the critics or the naysayers are talking about, this is a president who literally gets up every day and fights to keep the promises that he made to the American people."
Eric Bolling's full interview with Vice President Pence will air exclusively on "America with Eric Bolling" at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, only available on BlazeTV.
I just sat down with @VP Pence for an exclusive 1 on 1 from Greenville, SC.
I asked about:
- China Trade
- Russia added back to G-7?
- Nuking hurricanes
- @NikkiHaley tweet (See below)
- Greenland deal
- Colts QB Andrew Luck
Watch the full extended interview @BlazeTV tonight! pic.twitter.com/1IfNiAK7o5
— Eric Bolling🇺🇸 (@ericbolling) August 27, 2019