Top Journalist Reports, Argentine President Denies
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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. Talking Points Memo on Monday was the first in the U.S. to break the news, reporting that "when Argentine President Mauricio Macri called President-Elect Trump to congratulate him on his election, Trump asked Macri to deal with the permitting issues that are currently holding up the project."
TPM cites as its source "one of Argentina's most prominent journalists, Jorge Lanata," who is quoted "in La Nacion, one of Argentina's most prestigious dailies. Said 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.'"
Josh Marshall, TPM's editor, and Catherine Thompson ask the question many readers are likely asking also: "Why aren't we hearing about this in the American press?"
They answer: "Well, remember, no one knew anything about the visit from Trump's Indian business partners until it appeared in the Indian press either. It seems like this is likely happening on many fronts. It's just being hidden from the American press. We only hear about it when it bubbles to the surface in the countries where Trump is pushing his business deals."
Meanwhile, in a followup Monday afternoon, TPM notes that Argentina's President Macri denies the charge, but notes why it would be uncomfortable for the news to come out. And they add this stunning revelation:
"As TPM's Catherine Thompson noted back in August, Macri's father Franco had dealings with Trump in the early 1980s when the elder Macri (a construction tycoon) tried to break into the New York real estate business. Indeed, things got so intense between Franco Macri and Trump that when Mauricio (the current President) was kidnapped and thrown into a coffin by unknown kidnappers, Franco Macri at first thought Trump was responsible for the kidnapping."