A report out of Argentina states that when Argentine President Mauricio Macri called to congratulate the President-elect on his win, Trump responded by asking for help on permitting issues for one of his buildings in Argentina.
Talking Points Memo translated the original Spanish language report:
According to a report out of Argentina, 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. This comes from one of Argentina’s most prominent journalists, Jorge Lanata, in a recent TV appearance. Lanata is quoted here 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.”
If this report is true, it represents a documented case of the type of conflicts of interest that Trump is opening himself off to by not divesting himself of his business interests while serving as president.
This is the sort of corruption that experts are widely concerned will occur in a Trump administration. By refusing to separate himself from his business interests, Donald Trump has opened the door to abusing the power of the presidency for his own personal enrichment.
If the President-elect is engaging in these kinds of practices, there will be more reports of this behavior. Congress should not wait until the country is potentially knee deep in corruption before they act. Congress should immediately pass legislation requiring all presidents to sell off or seal themselves off from personal business holdings before assuming office.
The potential for conflicts of interest can be easily legislated away. It makes no sense for Congress to enable and open the door for corruption by refusing to act. If Donald Trump uses the presidency for personal and family enrichment, because Congress did nothing to stop him, the Republican majority will reveal itself to as corrupt as the man in the White House.
The United States of America is better than this, and if Donald Trump attempts to abuse the powers of the presidency, he and his party will be held accountable.
Update: Nick Miroff suggests, “Lanata said Trump Macri story was ‘half-joking, half-serious’ when he introduced on his program last night.”
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association