A short while ago we flagged that one of Argentina’s top journalists reported that Donald Trump asked Argentine President Macri to help work out some permitting issues holding up a building Trump is trying to build in Buenos Aires. This came during Macri’s call to Trump congratulating him on his election as President of the United States. Now President Macri is denying that they discussed the problems with Trump’s building project.
Will Carless, a reporter for the PRI/BBC GlobalPost team based in Rio de Janeiro, tweeted a short while ago that he had contacted President Macri’s office and received a flat denial.
“They didn’t talk about the (Trump) tower at all” spokesman for Argentina’s president just told me. “It’s absolutely untrue” https://t.co/ggz6uF2NdS
— Will Carless (@willcarless) November 21, 2016
There seems to be no response at all to date from the Trump transition. [Trump spokesman Jason Miller has now also denied the conversation occurred.]
Macri’s denial is important. But we should bear in mind that Macri has about as much interest in confirming such a conversation as Trump himself does.
In any case, the Macri and Trump clans go way back.
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.
Yes, I’m not kidding about this.
To be clear, the kidnappers were later captured and there is no evidence whatsoever that Trump was involved in anyway. But Franco Macri’s suspicion is a good measure of how heated things became between the two men when Trump essentially booted Franco Macri out of New York.
This post has been updated to note President-Elect Trump’s team’s denial.