‘GOVT DID NOT HIRE U.S. FIRM’
PM’s press secretary denies engaging services of Trump’s former aide
DATUK Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad has denied allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) or the Malaysian government had engaged the services of a former aide to United States President Donald Trump.
In a statement yesterday, the prime minister’s press secretary rejected recent media reports that the PMO or the Malaysian government had engaged the US firm to lobby on its behalf.
“We always welcome friends from around the world who rightly point out that Malaysia has a successful businessfriendly economy open to trade and investment, and is a moderate Muslim-majority country which, under Prime Minister (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak’s leadership, is a firm partner in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
“However, contrary to recent media reports and a registration statement, neither the PMO nor the government of Malaysia has instructed, appointed or contracted in any form with Godfrey Group Ltd, 45 Group or Healy Baumgardner-Nardone,” he said.
Following a report published in a USbased news portal, The Daily Beast, PKR’s Pandan lawmaker Mohd Rafizi Ramli had claimed that Najib had engaged the services of Healy Baumgardner-Nardone for a fee of US$250,000 (RM1.125 million) on May 19.
In a blog post on Thursday, Rafizi said the declaration of Baumgardner-Nardone’s services was made through a registration statement, which must be filed to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
The six-page document, purportedly from the DoJ, was uploaded on his blog, and stated that Baumgardner-Nardone would provide “government relations and public relations services in support of the Government of Malaysia and strengthening the US-Malaysian relationship”.
According to the report, Baumgardner-Nardone was a veteran political operative and former president George W. Bush’s White House communications hand. She had resigned from her senior press post on the Trump campaign in September.
Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad