A spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump is denying a report that Trump asked Argentina’s president for help with a construction project during a congratulatory telephone call after Trump’s Nov. 8 victory.
A report in La Nacion said Trump asked President Mauricio Macri for help with permits at a much-delayed office building project in central Buenos Aires. The newspaper quoted one of the country’s most respected journalists, Jorge Lanata, who did not quote a source.
“This still hasn’t come out, but Trump asked for them to authorize a building he’s putting up in Buenos Aires. It wasn’t just a geopolitical chat,” Lanata told the newspaper.
A spokesman for Macri called the report “absolutely untrue,” and Trump spokesman Jason Miller also denied the account.
The report comes at a time when concerns are being raised about conflicts of interest over Trump’s vast business holdings. The president-elect says he will turn over the running of his businesses to three of his grown children.
But he hasn’t completely shut the door on his business activities. He recently met with three business partners from India, who then took to social media to boast about their ties to the president-elect.
Lawyers who advised previous presidents on ethics issues say the arrangement opens up Trump to numerous conflicts of interest, because many of the decisions he makes in the White House could affect his personal fortune.
Previous presidents have put their holdings in a blind trust managed independently.
Asked by NPR whether Trump would consider doing the same thing, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said: “Everything’s being considered and discussed with the proper legal counsel and other advisers who are experts in these fields. And he will do the right thing. He will comply with the law.”
She also said some of Trump’s critics “simply can’t get over the fact that he won the election.”
“It’s a very unusual situation to have to have a president-elect that is such a successful businessman and has so many holdings,” said Conway. “But as you know, and as your listeners know, his adult children are already very involved in the success and the execution of his business holdings at the highest level, and that will continue.”