Argentine PM says he spoke to Donald Trump in official state phone call – and Ivanka

President-elect says he will keep business and presidential interests separate

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The Independent US

Donald Trump's daughter took part in his first official conversation with Argentine president Mauricio Macri, the president said, raising further concerns over a conflict of interest.

The Argentine leader said Ivanka Trump, who will run Mr Trump's business empire once he is inaugurated as president, spoke with him when he called her father to congratulate him on his victory.

"In the call, I also talked with his daughter," Mr Macri told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. "I have known her since her infant days."

Mr Trump has said he will keep his business and presidential interests separate by having his three children — Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric — run his business interests once he is inaugurated.

A report in the Argentine newspaper La Nacion quoted allegations Mr Trump used the call to ask Mr Macri for help over a stalled construction permit for a 35-storey Trump Office tower in Buenos Aires.

The newspaper quoted Jorge Lanata, who hosts the weekly investigative journalism programme Periodismo para todos (“Journalism for everybody”) as saying: “Macri called [Mr Trump]. This still hasn’t emerged but Trump asked for them to authorise a building he’s constructing in Buenos Aires.

"It wasn’t just a geopolitical chat.”

However a spokesman for Mr Macri denied he discussed Trump Office with the President-elect or his daughter, according to The Guardian.

Donald Trump outlines his policy plans

While he insists they will hold no formal posts in his administration, the President-elect has given Americans good reason to believe his adult children will continue to play an important role at his side.

Official snaps of the president-elect's first meeting with a foreign leader last Thursday triggered a torrent of criticism. 

They show Ivanka Trump sitting in on the talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, while she and her businessman husband Jared Kushner can be seen chatting and laughing with the prime minister's delegation at Trump Tower.

Her first televised appearance alongside the President-elect triggered a mini scandal when her company promoted a $10,800 bracelet she wore during the "60 Minutes" interview on CBS.

Ivanka was also reportedly present, along with Eric and Donald Jr when Mr Trump met with three of his Indian business partners at Trump Tower, to discuss expanding his business on the subcontinent, India's Economic Times reports 

Additional reporting by agencies

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