According to a report from Argentina’s La Nacion, translated by Talking Points Memo, Argentinian journalist Jorge Lanata stated in a TV appearance that President-Elect Trump is using his elevated platform to strong-arm Argentine President Mauricio Macri into moving forward with a Trump construction project.
Lanata said, according to La Nacion: “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.” (It’s worth noting that Trump and Macri’s father, businessman Franco Macri, have had business dealings together since the 1970s.)
A spokesman for President Macri told BBC’s Will Carless that the claim is “absolutely untrue”:
Whether or not the conversation occurred as reported, it certainly wouldn’t be an isolated event. In the middle of his transition, Trump met last week with his Indian business partners, reportedly to discuss future real estate deals; his daughter Ivanka, who is both a member of Trump’s transition team and a likely future leader of the Trump Organization, sat in on a meeting with Japan’s prime minister; some foreign diplomats are planning on staying at Trump properties in an effort to gain favor with the incoming administration.
According to a new Washington Post report, Trump, despite reaming Hillary Clinton for the Clinton Foundation’s move to accept donations from Saudi Arabia, registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia that appear connected to hotel deals during his presidential campaign. That same day, the Post reports, Trump began speaking kindly of Saudi Arabian interests at a rally, and later on Fox News. Trump also has substantial business ties to Turkey that he himself admitted created “a little conflict of interest.” Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg—the Post reports that Trump’s business entanglements span across 18 countries and territories across South America, Asia, and the Middle East.
Here’s some context, from a Newsweek report in September:
Many foreign governments retain close ties to and even control of companies in their country, including several that already are partnered with the Trump Organization. Any government wanting to seek future influence with President Trump could do so by arranging for a partnership with the Trump Organization, feeding money directly to the family or simply stashing it away inside the company for their use once Trump is out of the White House. This is why, without a permanent departure of the entire Trump family from their company, the prospect of legal bribery by overseas powers seeking to influence American foreign policy, either through existing or future partnerships, will remain a reality throughout a Trump presidency.
And no, if you’re wondering, none of this is illegal. It’s just unprecedentedly, wildly dangerous!