Estée Lauder heir convinced Trump to buy Greenland

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 15-Sep-2022

Ronald Lauder’s financial support of Donald Trump led to a petition for him to be removed from ELC’s board of directors

The billionaire heir of the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), Ronald Lauder, was the reason behind former President Donald Trump's desire to buy Greenland.

Lauder allegedly floated the idea to the controversial 45th US President, according to a report by The New York Times.

He then reportedly sent a proposal to buy the island to Danish ambassador Lars Gert Lose in August 2018.

“A friend of mine, a really, really experienced businessman, thinks we can get Greenland,” Trump said to his national security adviser at the time.

The idea was unanimously rejected by the majority of Denmark’s political parties, with some calling the idea of a sale of Greenland and its people "completely ridiculous".

Trump’s idea of purchasing the island country, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, was one of many outlandish proposals from the former President.

In 2020 he publicly suggested that the injection of bleach into the human body could be a means of fighting Covid-19.

Lauder’s close friendship with Trump was, unsurprisingly, called into question in 2020, when ELC employees voiced concerns over his financial support for the then President.

A petition for Lauder to be removed from the company’s board of directors gained more than 4,500 signatures.

A longtime Republican party supporter, the petition said Lauder has donated US$1.6m to pro-Trump groups since rejoining the ELC board in 2016.

The petition came during worldwide protests after the death of George Floyd in US police custody, when ELC pledged to donate $1m to causes that support the black community.

However, due to the billionaire's political relations with Trump, the letter called for the youngest son of Estée Lauder to be ousted from the board and for ELC to increase its donation to $5m.

"Ronald Lauder is a visible supporter of both Donald Trump, and the Estée Lauder Companies," the petition read.

"Ronald Lauder’s involvement with the Estée Lauder Companies is damaging to our corporate values, our relationship with the black community, our relationship with this company’s Black employees, and this company’s legacy."

Lauder and his brother, Leonard, are the sole heirs to ELC.

The business was founded by their parents, Estée Lauder and Joseph Lauder, in 1946.

Cosmetics Business has reached out to ELC for a comment.

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