Trump facing row over business interests after Argentine project claims

Josh Kim
Ноября 25, 2016

"It wasn't just a geopolitical chat", Jorge Lanata, one of the country's most famous journalists, revealed during his show "Periodismo Para Todos".

During a congratulatory call as president-elect last week Donald Trump took time to ask the president of Argentina to authorize building permits for a stalled Trump construction project, according to a report from a top journalist in that country.

Donald Trump, accompanied by, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump, Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, at the grand opening ceremony of the Trump International Hotel in Washington on October 26.

A Macri spokesman later denied the report. Similarly, a spokeswoman from YY Development refused to comment to Quartz about any of these questions because "they have already had too much media exposure".

A source in Buenos Aires city hall told AFP it had "nothing to say" about the building project.

Hours after the report made headlines across the Americas, Trump and Macri denied the report and said that Trump did not make any reference to his project during the brief phone call.

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Donald Trump has been meeting and calling with dozens of foreign leaders since he won the presidential election. An Buenos Aires-based businessman and a co-owner of YY Development, Yaryura was with the Trump team and family at the post-election celebrations in the Hilton hotel in NY. Macri's father Franco Macri tried and failed to break into Manhattan business decades ago, and sold a property to Trump.

This is hardly the first time the separation of Trump's interests as businessman and president-elect has come into question. Her participation in the call had sparked its own wave of controversy earlier in the week since Trump's children are supposed to be taking the reins on his businesses while staying out of his administration.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in NY.

Trump has insisted that he will not use the White House for personal profit, saying that after inauguration, he will let three of his children - Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric - run his business interests while he attends to the duties of commander-in-chief. The developer was the go-between who helped the Macri government establish contact with the USA president-elect after he won. "In the call [on November 14], I also talked with his daughter", Macri said, according to the newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Since the hotel sits on land leased from the federal government, when Mr Trump assumes office, he becomes, effectively, both landlord and tenant overnight, our correspondent notes.

"I have known her since her infant days", he said. In the 1980s, the current Argentine president's father, Franco, who was a developer, was involved in a complex NY real estate deal with Trump, as Wayne Barrett explained in his book, "Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth". He also solved the issue of debt default that Argentina fell into in 2001, returning his country to global financial markets.

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