November 21, 2016
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump asked right-wing Argentinian President Mauricio Macri for help with resolving issues surrounding a real estate project in Buenos Aires, a report by the Argentine newspaper La Nacion said Sunday.
“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,” the newspaper quoted well-respected local journalist Jorge Lanata during his “Journalism for All” TV show.
Last week Macri — himself a businessman with billions of dollars in tax havens — called his fellow billionaire Trump to congratulate him on his shocking victory in the U.S. elections earlier this month.
In fact, the two men know each other through the real estate business. Macri met Trump decades earlier while working for his father, Francisco Macri, one of the richest men in Argentina.
Father Macri sold his stake in the Lincoln West housing and office development in New York to Trump in 1985.
“The most salient aspect of the conversation is that the personal bond they had for many years was reconfirmed and re-established,” Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who arranged the call, said on local radio.
According to a book by the elder Macri, his son beat Trump in a golf game during a complicated real estate deal in New York in the 1980s, and Trump broke his clubs after the game in frustration.
Hours after the report made headlines across the Americas, Trump and Macri denied the report and said that Trump did not make any reference to his project during the brief phone call.
While many fear a far-right surge in the United States following the election of Trump, critics of Macri, who ended 12 years of leftist rule in South America’s third largest economy, say the billionaire has already implemented some of the most neoliberal policies including mass layoffs, privatizations and cuts to social programs.