On Monday, November 14, 2016, less than a week after Trump won the election, Argentine President Mauricio Macri telephoned Trump to congratulate him on his victory.
According to Argentinean journalist Jorge Lanata, quoted in the newspaper La Nación, Trump asked Macri to expedite the issuance of permits that were holding up a Trump-branded office building project in Buenos Aires.
Both Macri and Trump denied that Trump’s building project in Buenos Aires was discussed.
“Any reports alleging a discussion about personal business interests between President-elect Trump and President Macri are completely untrue,” according to a statement by the Trump transition team. “The Argentine President and his office have also refuted these baseless claims.”
The Embassy of Argentina also put out a statement denying permits for the project were discussed,
“That issue was not part of the conversation between president Mauricio Macri and president-elect Donald Trump. The subject both leaders talked about was the institutional relationship, and they briefly mentioned the personal relationship they have had for years.”
Ivanka Trump, who is said to be taking over the running of the Trump Organization (including its businesses in Argentina) along with her brothers Don Jr. and Eric when Trump takes office in January, was also on the phone call.
“In the call, I also talked with his daughter,” Macri told Asahi Shimbun, the Japanese newspaper. “I have known her since her infant days.”
A spokesman for President Macri stated that no business was discussed with Ivanka during the call.
“He spoke with Ivanka only briefly to say hello because he met her when she
was just a kid,” said the spokesman. “They did not speak about it. The president doesn’t speak about city building permits.”
Felipe Yaryura, Trump’s business partner on the Buenos Aires project is also partnering with Trump on a luxury 157-apartment complex in Punta del Este in neighboring Uruguay. Yaryura was a guest at Trump’s election night victory party in New York, and is said to be especially close to Eric Trump. Ecos Latinoamérica, a local daily, reported that Yaryura and business partner Moisés Yellati were also guests at the debates against Hillary Clinton.
— Gabriel Letrinas (@GLetrinas) December 26, 2016
The day after the call, November 15, 2016, Yaryura and Yellati’s firm, YY Development Group announced that the project would be moving ahead, with work beginning in June 2017. Two days later, Yaryura told La Nación that the project was going ahead as soon as a few “administrative details” with the city government were taken care of.
Featured image: Hernán Piñera, Flickr Creative Commons