President-Elect Trump Flagrantly Breaks the Law; Skittish Media Drops It
There was speculation yesterday that Donald Trump had sought a personal business favor from Argentine President Mauricio Macri during a phone call last week after an Argentinian newspaper claimed that Trump had sought to have permits cleared for a Trump Tower in Buenos Aires. Yesterday, both a Trump spokesman and a spokesman for the Argentinian President denied that business was discussed during the congratulatory call.
“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
After denials from both sides, the media basically dropped the issue. However, in a lengthy tweet storm, Susan Simpson (via Bilge Ebiri) connected all the dots and more or less illustrates that Trump did indeed seek business favors in that phone call, and that the Argentinian President granted them.
It’s a lengthy tweetstorm, and can get a little confusing, but here’s the long and short of it: Donald Trump had sought to build a Trump Tower in Buenos Aires for at least four years, but knew there would be massive difficulties getting permits and through other red tape. Trump’s company had partnered with Yaryura & Yellati, an Argentinian Development Company. Yaryura and Yellati are close friends with the Trump family. In fact, they were with Eric Trump on election night and ate breakfast with Eric Trump the next morning.
Trump's Argentina partners include Yaryura & Yellati. They were in "the bunker" on the night of the election, and chilled with Eric Trump. pic.twitter.com/E3k4Zop1q9— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
As of election day, Yaryura & Yellati were still waiting for approval from Argentina to get to work on Trump Tower in Buenos Aires.
Argentinian President Macri had been rooting for a Clinton victory (Macri has a long and sordid personal history with Trump). After Trump won, Macri quickly sought to connect with Trump to make things good with the U.S President.
I’ll let select Simpson tweets explain the next part of the story:
"President Mauricio Macri asked his entire cabinet for an urgent approach to the team of the president-elect." https://t.co/Gr1ugpw4ew— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
Then they find a solution. Someone remembers that Yaryura, developer behind TTBA, has a direct line to Eric Trump.https://t.co/v4BD0nucoY— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
The Argentinian government calls Yaryura, and explains the situation. On Nov. 11, Yaryura connects Chancellor Malcorra with Eric Trump.— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
Malcorra & Eric have a "cordial" chat but Macri doesn't get to speak to Trump yet. Eric tells Macri he has to wait. https://t.co/wBSFTRo61O— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
"There will be a conversation when Trump's agenda allows it: he has to assemble teams and we do not hurry," says a Trump official.— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
On Nov 14, Trump's schedule clears, and he & Macri have chat to catch up on old times. About golf games, Miami/NY business deals, I assume.— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
The next day, Nov 15th, YY announces construction on TTBA will commence in June 2017, and will be completed in 2020. https://t.co/ssqtx7MF00— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
So the day after this phone call between Trump & Macri, arranged by Yaryura, Trump Tower moves ahead as if all approvals have been obtained— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
But there's a problem w/this "phanton tower": there doesn't appear to be any paperwork that's been submitted for ithttps://t.co/AxH2PDHTwL— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
No biggie. Despite no permit filings, let alone approvals, YY insists everything is in order for Trump Tower Buenos Aires, full speed ahead!— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
Then this morning, someone reads an Argentine news source, and reports on this:— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
“Macri called him[,] Trump asked for them to authorize a building he’s constructing in Buenos Aires."https://t.co/LHscqKXBLx— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
There is like a one-hour period in which the US media toys with the possibility that Trump may have been using his office for personal gain.— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
Then media says,oh nevermind! That was just another example of "the easy spread of thinly sourced or even fake news."https://t.co/ah8aRWB0Lt— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
And this is why I am writing five million tweets. Because I don't want this forgotten like everything else about Trump always seems to be.— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) November 22, 2016
Here’s the TL;DR: Donald Trump wanted to build a Trump Tower in Buenos Aires but couldn’t get approval. He had a phone call with the Argentinian president. The very next day, it was announced that Trump Tower would be moving ahead in Buenos Aires despite the fact that there was no paperwork submitted. Donald Trump’s campaign denies that he discussed business with the Argentinian President. The media says, “OK, sure,” and drops it, and nobody seems to give a damn now except Peggy Noonan.
If this is true — if — it is a terrible, terrible sign. Presidents. Can't. Do. This. https://t.co/TzsYPFxyIt— Peggy Noonan (@Peggynoonannyc) November 21, 2016
However, Air Fleischer raises the prospect of “fake news”:
100% agree. But it needs to be checked out. If it's a false accusation (fake news), that's a big mistake by those running w it. https://t.co/nFkGtg52kt— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 21, 2016
The New York Times takes the Argentinian President at his word that they didn’t talk about Trump Tower:
And the whole thing is dropped, never mind that Trump Tower was given the go ahead the day after Trump spoke with the Argentinian President.
Good job, media!
In our continued efforts to keep photos of Donald Trump on the site to a minimum, today we feature a still from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which has seen an fun new narrative shift and a new character played by Brittany Snow. You can follow Dustin on Twitter.
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