President Donald Trump is greeting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the White House.
"Look, we're not going to comment on an ongoing investigation being led by the Department of Justice", said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday. Malaysia's government has said it found no criminal wrongdoing at 1MDB. But it has been at the center of investigations in the US and several countries amid allegations of a global embezzlement and money-laundering scheme.
The U.S. Justice Department in June moved to seize more than a half a billion dollars in assets related to the 1MDB case, including a Picasso given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the screen rights to two Hollywood movies and a $27 million diamond necklace belong to Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor.
Najib has said that the meeting will focus on security issues, including efforts to combat the extremist group Islamic State.
The programme at the White House included an expanded delegation meeting involving members and advisers of the Trump administration as well as Malaysian ministers and senior government officials.
Flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence, the president crossed his arms and listened raptly as Najib described Malaysia's purchase of billions of dollars' worth of aircraft from Chicago-based Boeing.
Razak has met Trump before, and boasts of a warm relationship with the billionaire former businessman.
Trump also said Malaysia is a "massive investor in the United States in terms of stocks and bonds".
Upon arrival to the United States, the Malaysian leader and his large diplomatic entourage checked into the Trump family's swank DC hotel, which the president still owns, according to ThinkProgress. "We're very proud of our stock market, what's happened since I became president". The US media criticised Mr Trump for hosting a premier linked to kleptocracy investigations by the Department of Justice and accused of authoritarian rule.
"No prime minister of Malaysia in the past 60 years had to face such phalanx of worldwide media hostility or avalanche of adverse press publicity both in the United States and the world", he said in a statement.
Mr Najib said bilateral ties in the last 60 years have extended beyond trade and investment into political, diplomatic, education, security, defence and people-to-people cooperation among others.
A senior USA official acknowledged it was unusual to meet with Najib while 1MDB was under regulatory scrutiny.
Citing "threats of nuclear proliferation, radicalisation and new and ever-more barbarous acts of terrorism around the globe", he said states need firm partners and friends.