There’s nothing substantive to confirm that the phone call and construction announcement are linked, but local news media have reported that the call itself was arranged in very unusual fashion. Macri, who is son of one of Latin America’s richest men and has reportedly known Trump since beating him at golf in the 1980s, had backed the wrong horse at the election, openly supporting Hillary Clinton. Accordingly, a crisis meeting was called to work out how to put relations on the right track (Spanish language) with Trump’s administration.
La Nación reports that foreign minister Susana Malcorra eventually made contact with Trump’s son Eric, with the assistance of close Trump business associate Felipe Yaryura. An Buenos Aires-based businessman and a co-owner of YY Development, Yaryura was with the Trump team and family at the post-election celebrations in the Hilton hotel in New York. Malcorra and Eric Trump reportedly had a “nice and cordial” conversation, with Eric telling Malcorra that his father would talk with Macri when his timetable allows. He then put her in touch with Trump’s foreign affairs team.
A spokesman for Malcorra confirmed that the phone call between Malcorra and Eric Trump had taken place and sent us a clip from a news conference in which a Reuters reporter asked about the phone call and whether Yaryura had helped put them in contact. Malcorra first asked, “Who?” After the reporter explained he was a Trump business associate, she gave a tight grin and didn’t answer that part of the question—instead detailing the call she received from Eric Trump. In an interview with news portal Segundo Enfoque, Yaryura himself also didn’t deny being the conduit, avoiding the question altogether. YY Development spokeswoman Paula de Leones said she could not comment on whether Yaryura had been involved in the process and suggested she might arrange a phone interview with him, but did not reply to follow-up emails.