Donald and Melania Trump will host their second state dinner since they entered the White House – honoring Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny – on Friday night.
Australian pro golfer Greg Norman, a longtime friend of the president’s, told The Associated Press he will be attending.
Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born founder of Fox News Channel, one of Trump’s favorite cable news networks, could also attend. He came to the last White House state dinner for an Australian prime minister, which was 13 years ago.
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump will host their second state dinner since they entered the White House on Friday night, hosting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny – the two couples are seen together at August’s G7 meeting in France
Australian flags were up around the White House complex Thursday ahead of the visit
Golfer Greg Norman, an old friend of Trump’s is attending, and there is speculation Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Trump favored news network Fox News, could attend
The guest list will likely be a closely guarded secret until the invited start arriving at the White House Friday evening for the glamorous black-tie event.
Morrison’s visit will include a pomp-filled arrival ceremony Friday morning featuring military bands, a press conference with the two leaders in the afternoon, followed by the dinner that evening.
The occasion is being called an ‘official visit’ instead of state visit as Morrison is not the head of state for Australia. That would be Queen Elizabeth.
The White House will be all spruced up for visit.
The first lady recently oversaw the refurbishment of the receiving rooms on the state floor of the White House – the red room, the blue room and the green room.
The rooms, which get trod through by official visitors and members of the visiting public got a fresh look with new rugs, draperies and furniture. Melania Trump also switched out some of the artwork on the wall.
Friday’s state dinner marks the second time the Trumps have bestowed such an honor on a visiting world leader. The first was for French President Emmanuel Macron in April 2018.
In the first 24 months in office, President Barack Obama held three state dinners; President George W. Bush held two state dinners and President Bill Clinton held one state dinner, according to the White House Historical Association.
The last time Australia was honored was on May 16, 2006, when George W. Bush hosted Prime Minister John Howard.
A state dinner usually conveys a unique bond between the two countries. Macron was one of the first European leaders to embrace Trump’s presidency.
President Trump and Aussie PM Scott Morrison spent time together last month at the G7 meeting
Melania Trump and Aussie first lady Jenny Morrison participated in spouse events at the G7
Australia has pushed its close ties to the United States.
After the 2016 election, then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the second world leader to call and congratulate Trump – after getting his cell phone number from Norman.
Norman lives in Florida and grew close to Trump over their shared love of golf.
Meanwhile, Trump and Morrison spent time together at the June G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, and at G7 meeting last month in Biarritz, France. Additionally, the president has bonded with the Australian Ambassador to the U.S. over a game of golf at Mar-a-Lago.
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump at their first state dinner in April 2018, which was for French President Emmanuel Macron
Trump in June of 2016, shortly after he secured the Republican presidential nomination, with Rupert Murdoch at Trump’s golf course in Scotland
Melania Trump has overseen a number of home improvements projects at the White House, including refreshed wall fabric in the Red Room (above) after the sunlight had left the previous fabric so faded it was almost pink
She also refreshed draperies in the Green Room by switching material from the backside to the front, eliminating the need – and cost – of replacing the curtains entirely. Only the fringe had to be replaced
This photo shows restored furniture in the Blue Room of the White House as part of Mrs Trump’s renovation projects
At the G20, Morrison invited Trump to President’s Cup golf tournament in Melbourne, which takes place from December 12 to 15.
The U.S. team will be captained by golf champion Tiger Woods, whom Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2019.
‘I’d like to,’ Trump responded when asked if he’d be there.