Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Trump meets Malaysia leader under investigation by his Justice Department

Trump meets Malaysia leader under investigation by his Justice Department

President Trump lavished praise Tuesday on scandal-scarred Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has set up camp at the Trump International Hotel, according to a report.

Previous reports said that following the one-on-one meeting the two would be joined by USA vice president Mike Pence, state secretary Rex Tillerson and other senior White House leaders.

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.

Najib 'has been very, very strong on terrorism in Malaysia and a great supporter from that standpoint, so that's a very important thing from the United States, ' Trump said.

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

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

The US president is expected to focus significantly on security issues with the Malaysian prime minister during their discussions at the White House on Tuesday.

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Najib stressed the key for the United States "to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world" is to support 'moderate and progressive Muslim regimes and governments around the world, ' such as Malaysia's 'because that is the true face of Islam, that is the authentic face of Islam'.

Trump is also likely to reiterate thanks for Malaysia's efforts to assist the USS John S. McCain, which collided with a tanker as the destroyer was on its way to Singapore, tearing a huge hole in the hull and leaving 10 sailors dead.

Instead, after Razak mentioned purchases his government is making of American-made planes, Trump pointed out that Malaysia is a "massive investor in the United States in terms of stocks and bonds".

Mr Trump said he and Mr Najib are discussing large trade pacts and a deal involving Boeing jets. "We're very proud of our stock market, what's happened since I became president".

But the run-up to Najib's arrival has been dominated by questions about his entanglement in an ongoing US Justice Department investigation. "He will also try to convey the impression that the USA investigation on 1MDB has nothing to do with him", said James Chin, who heads the Asia Institute in Australia's University of Tasmania.

The South China Sea will also be part of the talks, as will trade and investment, Sanders said.

Prime Minister Najib had once enjoyed close ties with President Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, playing golf with the Democratic president in Hawaii in 2014.

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