Trump Praises Malaysia's Purchase of Boeing Jets, Fight Against Terrorism

Posted September 13, 2017

US President Donald Trump welcomes Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the White House in Washington September 13, 2017.

On Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the report and defended Najib's choice of lodging - a choice that directly lines Trump's pockets since he still owns the hotel.

Mr. Najib's visit comes as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates the alleged looting of 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a Malaysian economic-development fund.

Malaysia's government has said it found no criminal wrongdoing at the fund, called 1MDB and founded by Najib.

But it has been at the center of investigations in the U.S. and several countries amid allegations of a global embezzlement and money-laundering scheme.

The U.S. Justice Department said people close to Najib stole billions of dollars, and the federal government is working to seize $1.7 billion it said was taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S.

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Trump greeted Najib earlier upon the latter's arrival for a closed-door meeting between the two leaders.

Arriving at the White House midday for a handshake and talks with Trump, Razak hopes to demonstrate to his critics back home that he's still welcome in Washington, despite the allegations against him.

Both leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the conclusion of the White House meetings as Kuala Lumpur and Washington celebrated six decades of bilateral ties this year.

The Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times posted video of Najib entering Trump International Hotel.

Razak has met Trump before, and boasts of a warm relationship with the billionaire former businessman.

There are about 28,000 Malaysians living in cities throughout the United States.

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Trump also pointed out that Malaysia is a "massive investor in the United States in terms of stocks and bonds".

The discussion with Trump was the highlight of Najib's Sep 11-13 working visit to the U.S. at the invitation of the 45th United States president who took office on Jan 20 this year. "We're very proud of our stock market, what's happened since I became president".

Mr. Trump didn't mention the investigation during his public appearance with Mr. Najib.

Mr. Najib said during the public appearance with Mr. Trump on Tuesday that he was interested in contributing to the USA economy.

A senior US official acknowledged it was unusual to meet with Najib while 1MDB was under regulatory scrutiny.

Asked if it was "problematic for someone under DOJ investigation to be supporting the president's for-profit company", Sanders said Najib made a "personal decision".

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