Donald Trump reportedly asked Argentine president to pave way for Trump office building

Source: AP
Source: AP

President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly once more mixing business with... business.

Per an Argentine press report flagged Monday by Talking Points Memo, Trump's congratulatory post-election phone call with Argentine President Mauricio Macri included an appeal to help smooth the way for an office building the real estate mogul is trying to erect in Buenos Aires.

A Macri spokesman later denied the report.

Jorge Lanata, a noted journalist in Argentina, was quoted by the La Nacion newspaper as saying in a television appearance that "Macri called him. This still hasn't emerged, but Trump asked for them to authorize a building he's constructing in Buenos Aires, it wasn't just a geopolitical chat."

TPM also noted that "Trump's business partner on the project, Felipe Yaryura, was there on election night at the Trump celebration in New York City."

A Trump spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The spokesman, Jason Miller, subsequently said via email, "Not true."

Will Carless, a PRI/BBC correspondent stationed in Rio de Janeiro, tweeted Monday afternoon that Macri's office categorically denied any business talk occurred during the call: 

This is hardly the first time the separation of Trump's interests as businessman and president-elect has come into question. 

On Sunday, the New York Times cited reports in the Indian press about the president-elect's conversation with developers of Trump Towers Pune, an apartment complex, writing: 

The meeting shows that Mr. Trump has not fully disengaged from his business ventures even as he leads his presidential transition, and it highlights the potential conflicts he will face going forward if he does not separate himself from a brand that has been constructed around his persona. 

Trump has vowed to distance himself from his vast business holdings upon succeeding President Barack Obama, leaving supervision of the Trump Organization to his adult children. 

But days after the election, his daughter, Ivanka, sat in on his meeting with Japan's prime minister, setting off alarm bells about potential conflicts of interest between Trump's forthcoming stewardship of the nation and his family's money-making interests.

Trump's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, current chairman of the Republican National Committee, told CNN on Sunday that White House counsel would stand guard against "any wrongdoing or any sort of undue influence over any decision-making."

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Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

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