Trump BUSTED Asking Foreign President For Big Business Favor In STUNNING Conflict Of Interest

Trump BUSTED Asking Foreign President For Big Business Favor In STUNNING Conflict Of Interest

Did Trump Just Violate The Constitution’s Ban On Self-Dealing?

President-elect Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Argentine President Mauricio Macri for the first time recently, Talking Points Memo reported Monday. But the call went beyond a collegial congratulations and greeting between two democratic heads of state. Trump brought up businesses, too, according to a reporter in Argentina.

Talking Points Memo reports,

“For a number of years, Trump and his Argentine partners have been trying to build a major office building in Buenos Aires. The project has been held up by a series of complications tied to financing, importation of building materials and various permitting requirements.”

In a television news segment, one of Argentina’s top journalists, Jorge Lanata, said it hadn’t been widely reported, but when Macri called Trump, the US president-elect asked the president of Argentina to help get the authorization for the building to go ahead. One of Argentina’s leading daily publications, La Nacion, reported (translated from Spanish),

After President Mauricio Macri telephoned the new president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, it was discovered that the Republican tycoon asked Macri for permission to build a tower in downtown Buenos Aires.

“It hasn’t been reported yet, but Trump asked him to authorize a building he is building in Buenos Aires, it was not just a geopolitical talk,” said Jorge Lanata in his monologue of the Journalism for All program. Trump asked the President for permission to formalize the work of his new real estate development that, according to LA NACION, he has been interested in doing since many years ago but did not do it earlier because of the difficulties imposed by tariffs and the barriers to imports.

According to the journalist, the investors’ permits were soon to expire, so it was necessary to renew them. Some people in the legislature would have questioned the status of those permits and that is why Trump would have asked the President for his favor.

Related: Wall Street Journal Editors Warn Trump – Draining The Swamp Starts With YOU

Shortly after Talking Points Memo reported the story to an American audience for the first time, Will Carless, a BBC correspondent stationed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reported in PRI GlobalPost that an Argentine spokesman called the story “absolutely untrue.”

If there is any truth to the report, it would fit squarely into an emerging pattern of self-dealing by the Trump transition. On Sunday, Talking Points Memo separately connected dots between Trump’s new hotel in Washington, DC urging foreign diplomats to stay there; Trump meeting with his Indian business partners about expanding his business in India, along with his daughter, Ivanka, who is managing his so-called “blind trust;” and a Trump business partner in the Philippines being named the new Philippines trade envoy to the United States. TPM‘s Josh Marshall noted that, increasingly, Americans are learning about these multiplying conflicts of interest as foreign journalists report on them.

ThinkProgress‘s report on Trump’s alleged self-dealing in Argentina notes that Trump’s actions would “likely violate” the Constitution’s “emoluments clause.” Article I, section 9 of the US Constitution says,

“no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

If the Argentine report is true, Trump using the power of his office to pressure President Macri to move his building project forward would be a shockingly flagrant violation of this edict against foreign self-dealing that is as old as the Republic.

Given the global interests of the Trump Organization, Trump’s failure to meaningfully divest from it as he assumes the presidency, and his failure to produce his tax returns, a deeply disturbing view of his agenda is taking shape. It is starting to look like Trump is planning to use the power of the presidency to pursue a global extortion racket. A Cabinet of people who hate the department they oversee will possibly be primed to act less abhorrent as soon as Trump gets an acceptable bribe. A network of cronies will likely funnel money into the secret debts and investments of the giant open wallet of his so-called “blind trust,” under his family’s control. He and the Republican Congress are planning to gut as many public programs as they possibly can get their hands on, to replace them with private scams. For the right price, he may be willing to compromise on the mass human rights violations and widespread voter suppression. And wait till the president-elect, who just settled a fraud lawsuit for $25 million, gets his hands on America’s nuclear arsenal and begins radicalizing his supporters into armed militias. The potential for extortion will be endless.

Imagine an alternate universe where Al Capone became the mayor of Chicago. That’s what we’re about to get but on a much, much larger scale. We may be witnessing the beginning of the biggest con job in all of human history.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.

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Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App