*From:* Mineko Tokito [mailto:xxx@gmail.com]
*Sent:* Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:21 AM
*Subject:* [WHCA Foreign] [WH Pool] Foreign Pool Report #1 Visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

Good morning. My name is Mineko Tokito Abe from The Yomiuri Shimbun Japanese newspaper and I am your foreign pooler for the day.

Apologies again for prematurely sending out information that I was still editing.

Advertisement

I have compiled some "stage-setting" notes on today's visit by Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak for your perusal:

-Najib Razak is pronounced (Nah-jeeb Rah-zahk). He is the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia and the eldest son of Abdul Razak, the country's second Prime Minister who was credited with playing a part of securing independence from Britain in 1957. Mr. Najib's uncle, Hussein Onn, succeeded Mr. Najib's father as the country's third PM. At 23, Mr. Najib became the youngest MP in Malaysian history and quickly rose to prominence. (Per BBC profile)

-Official word that President Trump had invited PM Najib to visit the White House came late last month. In a statement posted on August 23rd, the White House noted that President Trump was looking forward to "celebrating the 60th anniversary of US-Malaysia bilateral relations and discussing ways to strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America's closest partners in Southeast Asia."

Advertisement

-Per NSC spokesperson on today's visit (this was also read out by Ms. Huckabee Sanders during yesterday's WH briefing): *"The President looks forward to discussing a wide range of regional and security issues with Prime Minister Najib, including ways to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation to halt ISIS expansion, address North Korea's continued provocations, and promote maritime security in the South China Sea. The President also plans to discuss ways to promote increased trade and investment opportunities*."

-This is not the first time President Trump will be meeting PM Najib. In fact, per the NYT, "the two leaders played golf together a few years ago at Mr. Trump's golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Trump signed a photo of the two of them together, "To my favorite prime minister."

-From The Straits Times video, it appears that the Prime Minister is staying at The Trump International Hotel. He arrived in Washington DC yesterday morning.

-PM Najib penned an opinion piece for The Hill which was published yesterday. Key quotes on the fight against ISIS include, "rest assured, Malaysia will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with American on this vital mission to eliminate a terror group whose acts sicken all of civilized humanity" :>http://thehill.com/blogs/<pundits-blog/international/350073-malaysian-prime-minister-trump-we-have-your-back-in-fight [ %3ehttp:/thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/350073-malaysian-prime-minister-trump-we-have-your-back-in-fight%3c ]

-Per the WSJ, "Mr. Najib will be the second Southeast Asian leader to visit Mr. Trump in Washington, following a trip in May by Vietnam's prime minister. Mr. Najib also met with former President Barack Obama--on a 2014 trip by Mr. Obama to Malaysia, for golf that year in Hawaii, and at a 2015 summit--but he never visited Mr. Obama at the White House."

-Also per the WSJ, "Mr. Najib's White House visit is the first by a Malaysian leader since 2004."

Advertisement

-The Prime Minister's visit comes at a unique time, a little over a year into a US Justice Department investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal. The Justice Department is scrutinizing the misappropriation of billions of dollars from this economic development fund, which was set up by Mr. Najib in 2009 in hopes to boost the Malaysian economy. Prime Minister Najib has not been implicated in the case.

-Ms. Huckabee Sanders was asked whether the 1MDB investigation would be raised during the meeting during yesterdays briefing. Her reply:

*SANDERS: Look,we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation being led by the Department of Justice. And that investigation is apolitical, and certainly independent of anything taking place tomorrow.*

--

Mineko Tokito Abe

Washington Reporter
The Yomiuri Shimbun
General Bureau of the Americas
Suite 802 National Press Building
529 14th st. NW Washington DC 20045

Advertisement

Office # (202) -xxx-xxxx [ tel:(202) -xxx-xxxx ]
Fax # (202) -xxx-xxxx [ tel:(202) -xxx-xxxx ]
Cell # (202) -xxx-xxxx [ tel:(202) -xxx-xxxx ]

>www.yomiuri.co.jp< [ %3ehttp:/www.yomiuri.co.jp%3c ]


Public Pool is an automated feed of White House press pool reports. For live updates, follow @WHPublicPool on Twitter.