Report: Trump pressed Argentina’s president about stalled building project

President-elect Donald Trump reportedly used a congratulatory call from Argentina’s president to push for a stalled building project in Buenos Aires.

{mosads}According to a report in the Argentine paper La Nacion, when President Mauricio Macri called Trump to congratulate him on winning the election, Trump used the opportunity to urge him to clear the way for a stalled office building development.

Talking Points Memo translated the story, which included comments from well-respected local journalist Jorge Lanata.

“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,” said Lanata.

Macri spokesman Ivan Pavlovsky told Bloomberg that Macri offered his congratulations and the two talked about the U.S.-Argentina affairs and their own past relationship. Pavlovsky said he was in the room during the call and it did not address any real estate projects.

Macri and Trump have known each other for years, and both were businessmen before ascending to the presidency: Macri’s father Francisco sold a defunct real estate development project in New York to Trump in the 1980s.

Separate media reports indicate that an Argentine development firm recently announced plans to build a massive office building in downtown Buenos Aires that will bear Trump’s name. The $100 million project would create a 35-floor office building, with construction beginning in June 2017 assuming government approval.

Trump is also building a residential building on the coast of Uruguay with the same developer, YY Development Group. A 2012 press release described that building as a “luxury residential Trump branded oceanfront tower,” slated for opening in fall 2016.

Trump’s surprising electoral win has cast fresh doubt and concerns about how he plans to navigate his wide array of business interests while serving the public as president. Trump advisers have said his children would run his business wholly separate from Trump himself. But questions have remained as his children have occupied official and unofficial positions within the presidential transition, including sitting in on meetings with visiting heads of state.

And reports out of India have indicated that Trump and his children met with Indian business partners, who are working on a Trump-branded real estate project, just last week. The meeting was characterized as congratulatory and brief by Trump’s team.

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