Trump, Malaysia's Najib talk about trade and security, not scandal

Posted September 13, 2017

Bernama reported the prime minister as saying this at a gathering with Malaysian students and Malaysians living in the United States, at the Malaysian Embassy in Washington, ahead of his first official meeting with President Trump later today.

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.

The US asserts the money was stolen from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund that Razak founded.

The Malaysian leader was warmly welcomed by Trump on arrival for their one-on-one meeting at the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue in what is Najib's first visit to the official workplace and residence of the USA president.

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.

At their meeting, Trump and Najib focused on areas of agreement, such as economic development and counter-terrorism measures.

The leaders held the one-on- one meeting at the White House, followed by an expanded delegation meeting with advisers and Cabinet members.

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According to Najib's itinerary, he will witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Malaysian national carrier and Boeing.

"We are committed to 25 planes of the 737 Max-10, plus eight 787 Dreamliners and there is a strong probability, not possibility" of the purchase of an additional 25 737 Max-10 jets, Najib told Trump.

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

Earlier, in an opinion piece published by political website The Hill, Mr Najib assured the USA that Malaysia was a firm partner in its foreign policy objectives, especially in the fight against ISIS.

Appearing with Mr Trump at the White House, Mr Najib said he would like to invest in Mr Trump's infrastructure programme.

Prime Minister Najib, who has boasted about golfing with President Trump, is less likely to hear about human rights issues from the Republican. The US media criticised Mr Trump for hosting a premier linked to kleptocracy investigations by the Department of Justice and accused of authoritarian rule. "He will also try to convey the impression that the US investigation on 1MDB has nothing to do with him", said James Chin, who heads the Asia Institute in Australia's University of Tasmania. I am proud to say that the Royal Malaysian Police has thwarted at least 13 major terrorist attacks since 2012.