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Friday, March 22, 2019

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Irma, Houston, Russiagate, tax reform, and don’t forget North Korea. Big stories consuming our media landscape in a country both enthnocentric and myopic, even on the sleepiest news day. So I will keep this brief.

In 2014, after he and Najib Razak played a round of golf, Donald J. Trump gave a photo of himself to the Malaysian leader, inscribed, “To my favorite prime minister.” This is according to reporting by Mark Landler, in a New York Times article, “Trump Welcomes Najib Razak, the Malaysian Leader, as President, and owner of a Fine Hotel.”

Some of Najib’s qualifications for this designation may include his crackdown on journalists in Malaysia. It could be they share being investigated by the Justice Department. Or Najib’s firing of investigators in his home country looking into his behavior. Or maybe it is simply because Najib stays in Trump hotels on his travels abroad. Go figure.

The Justice Department believes Najib and his cronies diverted $3.5 billion of government funds to “buy jewelry, real estate and the rights to Hollywood films,” according to the Times. I guess we should consider it progress, since he was at least attempting to buy the rights to the films.

The White House avoided the traditional head-of-state photo-op hand shake with a rather stiff gathering captured by WH.gov.

Najib arrived with goodies, including his promise to purchase 25 Boeing 737s and eight 787 Dreamliners, and have one of Malaysia’s biggest pension funds invest up to $4 billion in OUR infrastructure. You gotta love that. Our own Congress won’t invest in infrastructure, but Trump’s authoritarian friends will.

Malaysia has been cozy with North Korea, but claims to have backed off. You may remember Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the site where North Korean agents poisoned Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half brother. My favorite tidbit is this: Najib is running for re-election, and the fact that he was able to enter the United States—without being detained—was considered a victory. Hooray!

To be fair, President Obama played golf with Najib in 2014, but long before any Justice Department investigation. President Trump seems to relish in his embrace of leaders of a certain ilk and Najib fits that pattern. Now back to our regular programming.

 

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7 responses to “Why Is This Man Trump’s Favorite Foreign Leader?”

  1. FireBaron says:

    So, I guess this means he doesn’t publicly praise Mad Vlad or the new Strongman in the Philippines.

    • Independent1 says:

      Yes, it looks like one dictator attracts another; even if they try to hide the love they have for each others evil self-serving actions.

      • dpaano says:

        Trump has so few friends, but I’m suspicious of ANYONE that he considers a “friend.” They can’t be all that humanitarian if he likes them….most of them are dictators, strongmen, bullies, etc. He’s found his niche with some of these demagogues!

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    • TZToronto says:

      I wonder if Trump realizes that Razak is a Muslim. That doesn’t matter, of course, since a Malaysian tycoon is funding Trump’s Vancouver hotel/condo project. Only Muslims from countries not funding a Trump property are considered dangerous dudes. Human rights violations in Malaysia are irrelevant when Trump rates his PMs.

  2. johninPCFL says:

    How long before the tangerine tyrant tells KKK Sessions to back off his new best friend?

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