White House denies pushing Malaysian premier to stay at Trump Hotel

The White House has denied any arrangements with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to stay at the Trump International Hotel during his visit to the United States to meet with US President Donald Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday that no efforts had been made to make the premier stay at the president’s hotel and that Razak made a “personal decision.”

The Malaysian leader is reportedly staying at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I’m not sure about if that came up. I’m not aware that that was ever discussed,” Sanders said. “We certainly don’t book their hotel accommodations, so I couldn’t speak to the personal decision they made about where to stay here in DC.”

The prime minister was welcomed to the White House by Trump amid an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice over an alleged money-laundering scheme involving billions of dollars.

The president did not refer to the investigation in the short remarks he made ahead of the bilateral meeting.

“I just want to say it’s an honor to have you here,” Trump told Razak. “It’s an honor to have your delegation with us.”

The morning meeting started at the West Wing, continued to the Oval Office and ended in the Cabinet Room, where Vice President Mike Pence, State Secretary Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner were also present.

Security, fight against terrorism as well as trade and investment were some of the issues on the agenda during the Malaysian delegation’s visit to the US, which is the third largest investor in the Asian country.

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