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Remarks on the Nomination of Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David R. Malpass To Be President of the World Bank and an Exchange With Reporters

February 06, 2019

The President. Hi, everybody. Thank you very much. And it's a lot of fun for me doing this one, because we're dealing with a very special man, a very special person.

Today it's my pleasure to announce my choice for the next President of the World Bank: Mr. David Malpass. And I've known David for a long time. Very extraordinary man.

With us today are David's wife Adele, as well as his three children Robert, Emily, Julia. And I want thank you all for being here, and I want to congratulate you all. Thank you. Thank you very much.

We're also pleased to be joined today by Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Alex Acosta, Ben Carson, as well as Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, who's right now negotiating with China. How you doing? Where's Bob? How you doing with China, Bob?

U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer. Fine, sir.

The President. Give them some breaking news. [Laughter] It's going well. Administrator Linda McMahon. And Treasurer Jovita Carranza. Thank you all for being here. Thank you. Thank you very much. And Ivanka Trump, in case anybody missed. And Kellyanne. And a lot of great people.

Following the resignation of former President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, I launched a broad search for a replacement. After interviewing many very qualified candidates, I knew that David was the right person to take this incredibly important job.

In addition to his current service overseeing the IMF and, actually, overseeing the World Bank as Under Secretary of International Affairs at the Department of the Treasury, David brings 40 years of experience in economics, finance, government, and foreign policy to his new assignment.

After receiving a degree in International Economics from Georgetown University's prestigious School of Foreign Service, David served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush.

He distinguished himself as Staff Director of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress. And he was named to the boards of many notable institutions and charities—highly respected man—including the Council of the Americas and the Economic Club of New York. The Wall Street Journal just said today in an editorial that David Malpass is an "excellent choice," which is true.

America is the largest contributor to the World Bank, giving it over $1 billion every year. My administration has made it a top priority to ensure that U.S. taxpayers' dollars are spent effectively and wisely, serve American interests, and defend American values. David has been a strong advocate for accountability at the World Bank for a long time. He has fought to ensure financing is focused on the places and projects that truly need assistance, including people living in extreme poverty.

David was also critical of [to; White House correction.] the creation of the World Bank's Women Entrepreneur. And they know—you know about the World Bank's Women's Entrepreneurs Finance Initiatives. And he will make it a priority to continue empowering women all across the globe. It's a very important thing—and it's a very important part, if it's properly handled—done by the World Bank.

I am certain that there could be no better candidate to lead the World Bank than David. And we want to just thank David. He's been with me for a long time. He's been a supporter for a long time, a supporter in a financial sense. Even before I ran, he liked the job I did; I like those people somehow.

But he's just a highly respected man, a brilliant man. And he's going to do very well. We'll be very proud of him. So I want to just introduce to the media—say a few words—David Malpass. David, thank you very much.

President-designate Malpass. Thank you so very much, President Trump, for your confidence in selecting me to lead the World Bank, the world's premier development institution. It's an incredible honor. I'd like to also thank my family that's here today, Adele and my terrific children.

I'd like to acknowledge all my friends and colleagues here—everyone, please—and especially Secretary Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, and Ivanka Trump. Working with Secretary Mnuchin at Treasury, I'm proud to say that, under your administration, Mr. President, we negotiated a major capital increase and reform package for the World Bank. With shareholders and dedicated staff, there's a great opportunity now to implement these constructive reforms that will lead to faster growth and greater prosperity.

I want to also note that a key goal will be ensure that women achieve full participation in developing economies. I know Ivanka has been a strong leader on women's economic empowerment, and I look forward to continuing our work together on her Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.

Mr. President, I'm very optimistic that we can achieve breakthroughs to create growth abroad that will help us combat extreme poverty and increase economic opportunities in the developing world. Thank you again, Mr. President, for this great honor.

The President. Thank you very much.

President-designate Malpass. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Congressional Investigation of the President's Personal Finances/The President's State of the Union Address

Q. Mr. President, can we ask you about your speech last night, sir? Sir, during your speech last night, you decried what you called "ridiculous political investigations." Yet this morning the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said he was going to launch a deep investigation into not only Russia, but your personal——

The President. Did you say Adam Schiff? Q. Adam Schiff.

The President. Oh, gee. I've never heard of him. [Laughter]

Q. Said that he would——

The President. That wouldn't be partisan, would it? Would that be partisan? No.

Q. But not only into Russia, but into your personal financial transactions. Can we get your reaction?

The President. And on what basis would he do that? He has no basis to do that. He's just a political hack who's trying to build a name for himself. And I think that's fine, because that's what they do. But there would be no reason to do that. No other politician has to go through that. It's called "Presidential harassment," and it's unfortunate. And it really does hurt our country.

I just want to say that I was very honored by the statements made about the speech last night. We were—we worked hard on it. And we love our country. It was a very important—it was very important, I think, for me to get up and say some powerful words, also some loving words, and some words of compromise. And it's been very well received. The speech, I think, has been very well received, in some cases, incredibly well received. And I just want to thank all of those people that said such nice things about the job we did last night.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:56 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Assistant to the President Ivanka M. Trump; and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway. President-designate Malpass referred to National Economic Council Director Lawrence A. Kudlow.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks on the Nomination of Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David R. Malpass To Be President of the World Bank and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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