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Opinion Distinguished pol of the week: Mette Frederiksen speaks truth to power

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen speaks in front of the State Department in Copenhagen on Aug. 21. (Mads Claus Rasmussen/AP)

She stood up to President Trump, called him out for his crazy talk and revealed just how unhitched to reality he really is. Unfortunately, this was not a Democratic presidential contender, but rather Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen.

She called out Trump’s interest in buying Greenland as “an absurd discussion.” The man with the thinnest skin and biggest ego on the planet then canceled his visit to Denmark, dubbing her response “nasty,” a common complaint about those (usually, but not exclusively, women) who stand up to him. She responded that she was “both annoyed and surprised,” but reaffirmed the Danish-U.S. alliance.

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The New York Times reports: “Many Danes were outraged by Mr. Trump’s cancellation and Twitter posts, calling them insulting and worse, but if Ms. Frederiksen shared their anger, she did not let on, expressing only ‘regret and surprise.’” This turned out to be a political win for her back home. “Danes are usually conflict-averse, but a spat with Mr. Trump is unlikely to do Ms. Frederiksen any political harm. Policy differences aside — and there are many — people in Denmark tend to dislike self-aggrandizement and ostentatious displays of wealth.”

A week after we saw the prime minister of Israel crumble in the face of a Trump tweet and deny entry to two U.S. congresswomen, it was refreshing, indeed inspiring, to see a small democratic country’s leader refuse to feed the Trump ego. A moment of high-spirited candor was particularly welcome in a week where Trump said and did a great many “absurd” things. We can only hope members in both U.S. political parties demonstrate the same honesty and backbone Frederiksen showed.

For all that, we can say, well done, Madame Prime Minister.

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