President Trump thanked Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for his state’s investments in U.S. businesses but failed to mention that much of the money was stolen by Najib’s associates from Malaysian taxpayers.
In Malaysia, investigators found no evidence of wrongdoing at the multi-billion-dollar state fund dubbed 1MDB Najib oversaw, but several other countries including the U.S. accuse Najib of conducting a money laundering scheme.
The U.S. Justice Department reported that Najib’s aides stole billions from the fund to buy themselves assets in the country. The U.S. government is trying to track $1.7 billion that was illegally siphoned from the fund into U.S. investments.
On Tuesday, Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration was “not aware” of any corruption scandal accusations brought up during the President’s meeting with the Malaysian PM at the White House. In that meeting, the two leaders focused on fighting terrorism and economic growth instead.
Mr. Prime Minister, it’s a great honor to have you in the United States and in the White House,
the President told Najib Tuesday.
Next, he, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listened carefully to the Prime Minister’s description of a multibillion-dollar acquisition of aircraft from Boeing. The President estimates the deal is worth around $20 billion.
Trump also underlined that Malaysia had invested heavily in the country’s bonds and stocks. He added that the “new highs” America is hitting almost every week must keep Malaysian investors “very happy.”
Najib pledged for Malaysia to keep its part in the fight against terrorism while he encouraged the U.S. to build partnerships in the Indian Ocean. He also urged the U.S. to protect progressive and moderate Muslim governments worldwide as that is “the true face of Islam.”
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