BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Thursday in the wake of real-estate mogul Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election that he expected that the current mature and intelligent bilateral relationship would continue.
“We congratulate the Americans on the election and of course ... I expect that we’ll continue working on that mature, intelligent relationship that we’ve begun with President (Barack) Obama’s administration,” Macri, who took office in December 2015, told reporters after an official event in Buenos Aires province.
“I expect it will continue with the Trump administration because what we all want is for the communities to engage with one another and for that to promote the progress of both countries,” he added.
The president acknowledged that he was as surprised as the rest of the world by the results of Tuesday’s election, saying the “polls failed again; most of them had Hillary Clinton winning.”
Macri, who had publicly expressed his preference for Clinton, saying her vision of the world more closely matched his, said that before entering politics he knew Trump in the 1980s.
“I know him, of course,” the president said.
Asked if he would play golf once again with the former reality TV star, Macri joked that he hadn’t played the sport in a long time but that perhaps Trump hadn’t either so they might still be evenly matched.
Their business relationship stems from a New York real-estate initiative of the Argentine president’s father, prominent Italian-Argentine developer Franco Macri.
In that regard, the journalists asked Macri about a remark in Trump’s recently published book in which he characterized his father as a newbie.
Macri said Trump was referring to a real-estate deal that was his father’s first such experience in the United States.