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Greg Norman defends Donald Trump’s golf habit as guests arrive for glamorous state dinner

Donald and Melania Trump greeted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny on the North Portico of the White House on Friday as a bevy of Fox News stars, presidential supporters, Australian celebrities, and administration officials made their way into the second state dinner of the administration.

The wives exchanged cheek kisses while the president and prime minister greeted each other.

As the two couples went into the White House to prepare to welcome their guests, Australian golf star Greg Norman, celebrity chef Curtis Stone, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and several administration officials made their way to the dinner venue.

Golfer Greg Norman with Kirsten Norman arrives at Friday’s state dinner

Rudy Giuliani with Dr. Maria Ryan

Rudy Giuliani with Dr. Maria Ryan

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with wife Ginny

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with wife Ginny

‘Ha, ha, ha,’ Giuliani laughed off his controversial interview with CNN as he walked by reporters with Dr. Maria Ryan, his guest for the evening.

The former New York City mayor denied having an extramarital affair with Ryan, a New Hampshire doctor who he allegedly called the woman with ‘big boobs,’ when he was with his then-wife Judith Giuliani.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway arrived solo in a black lace gown with a mermaid tail in the back. She didn’t answer questions about why her husband George Conway – a frequent critic of the Trump administration – wasn’t with her.

Norman, the retired Australian golfer, said he hadn’t golfed with Trump, his longtime buddy and golfing partner recently, but he was talking to the president about coming to Australia in January to see Tiger Woods play in the president’s cup.

And he shrugged off criticism that the president gets for golfing most weekends.  

“Nobody can golf too much,” he said.

Lachlan Murdoch, the son of Australian media magnate and founder of Fox News Rupert Murdoch, arrived with his wife but ignored questions about his father’s health. 

Making their state dinner debut was Trump adviser Stephen Miller and his girlfriend Katie Waldman, who walked through the formal entrance together arm-in-arm. They didn’t answer questions and Waldman shyly lowered her head to the crowd.

The guest list was heavy on Trump administration officials and guests of the Australian embassy. 

Australian chef Curtis Stone, a former contestant on Trump’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice was there his wife actress Lindsay Price.

White House adviser Stephen Miller and girlfriend Katie Waldman

White House adviser Stephen Miller and girlfriend Katie Waldman

White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, left, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, left, and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

White House Counselor Kellyane Conway

White House Counselor Kellyane Conway

Fox stars – and frequent Trump supporters – Mario Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs joined guests for the state dinner held in the Rose Garden, under a starry Washington D.C. night. 

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Trump adviser Dan Scavino walked the red carpet other together, waving to the crowd of reporters and laughing off their joint appearance. 

New White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, in a black and white dress, arrived with her boyfriend Max Miller. 

And also attending is the president’s new National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. He wasn’t talking business though, saying there were ‘no updates tonight’ on reports the U.S. was expanding its military presence in Iran, but he did say of his first week on the job: ‘It’s been wonderful.’ 

Senator Joe Manchin, who is working on bipartisan gun background check legislation, had no update but said he is working on it every day. 

Notably not in the crowd were any of the president’s children. Ivanka Trump was in Rome for a wedding while Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump live in New York. Tiffany Trump attends Georgetown Law School in Washington D.C. 

President Trump and Melania Trump with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison

President Trump and Melania Trump with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison

Guest list for State Dinner 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump

The Prime Minister of Australia and Mrs. Jennifer Morrison

Mr. David Abney and Mrs. Sherry Abney

Ms. Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Ms. Adrienne Arsht and The Honorable C. Boyden Gray

The Honorable Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services and Mrs. Jennifer Azar

The Honorable William Barr, Attorney General and Mrs. Christine Barr

Ms. Maria Bartiromo and Mr. Jonathan Steinberg

Mr. Adam Beren and Mrs. Ellen Beren

The Honorable Roy Blunt, United States Senator from Missouri and Mrs. Abigail Blunt

Mr. David Bohigian and Mrs. Catherine Bohigian

Mr. Donald Bollinger and Mrs. Joy Bollinger

Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbühl and Mrs. Michelle Brechbühl

The Honorable Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis and Mrs. Julie Buckley

The Honorable Sean Cairncross and Ms. Emily Skor

General Angus Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Defense Force, Australia

Mr. Andrew Carswell, Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Daniel Cathy and Mrs. Rhonda Cathy

Ms. Michelle Chan, National Security Advisor and Senior Advisor (International), Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Pasquale Cipollone and Mrs. Rebecca Cipollone

Air Vice Marshal Alan Clements CSC, Head of Australian Defense Staff, Embassy of Australia and Mrs. Helene Clements

The Honorable Kellyanne Conway

Her Excellency Katrina Cooper, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Australia and Mr. Keith Tuckwell

Mr. Nicholas Creevey, Senior Media Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Arthur Culvahouse, American Ambassador to Australia and Ms. Melanie Aitken

The Honorable Leonard Curry, Mayor of Jacksonville and Mrs. Molly Curry

The Honorable Ronald DeSantis, Governor of Florida and Mrs. Casey DeSantis

The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education and Mr. Richard DeVos

Mr. Louis Dobbs and Mrs. Debi Dobbs

The Honorable Emma Doyle and Mr. Brett Doyle

The Honorable Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense and Mrs. Leah Esper

Mr. Yaron Finkelstein, Principal Private Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Andrew Forrest AO and Mrs. Nicola Forrest AO

Mr. Saul Fox and Ms. Hannah Strobel

Mr. Philip Gaetjens, Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Ms. Sonia Gentile, Director of Program, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani and Dr. Maria Ryan

Mr. James Gorman

The Reverend Franklin Graham and Mrs. Jane Graham

The Honorable Stephanie Grisham and The Honorable Max Miller

Mr. Jack Hampton, Assistant Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

Mr. Justin Hayhurst, First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia

The Honorable Katherine Henderson and Ms. Mary Screws

Ms. Diane Hendricks and Mr. Keith Rozolis

His Excellency Joseph Hockey, Ambassador of Australia to the United States and Ms. Melissa Babbage

Dr. Elizabeth Jens and Mr. Ross Allen

Ms. Tham Kannalikham

Mr. Howard Kessler and Mrs. Michele Kessler

The Honorable Henry Kissinger and Mrs. Nancy Kissinger

The Honorable Keith Krach and Mrs. Metta Krach

The Honorable Lawrence Kudlow and Mrs. Judith Kudlow

Dr. John Kunkel, Chief of Staff, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative and Ms. Claire Lighthizer

Mr. Andrew Liveris and Mr. Anthony Liveris

Mr. Nikolai Louw, Executive Officer, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable Viola Lyles, Mayor of Charlotte and Mr. Jeffrey Young

The Honorable Derek Lyons and Ms. Elizabeth Horning

The Honorable David Malpass and Mrs. Adele Malpass

The Honorable Joseph Manchin, United States Senator from West Virginia and Mrs. Gayle Manchin

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, United States Representative from California and Ms. Meghan McCarthy

The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Mr. Bynum Hunter

Mrs. Gail McGovern and Mr. Donald McGovern

The Honorable Mark Meadows, United States Representative from North

Carolina and Mrs. Debbie Meadows

The Honorable Stephen Miller and Ms. Katie Waldman

General Mark Milley, United States Army

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Ms. Louise Linton

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Mr. Lachlan Murdoch and Mrs. Sarah Murdoch

Mr. Gregory Norman and Mrs. Kirsten Norman

Mr. Roger Norman and Mrs. Elise Norman

Mrs. Sandra Oudkirk and Mr. Scott Oudkirk

The Honorable Robert O’Brien and Mrs. Louisa O’Brein

The Vice President of the United States and Mrs. Karen Pence

Mr. Isaac Perlmutter and Mrs. Laura Perlmutter

The Honorable Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State and Mrs. Susan Pompeo

The Honorable Matthew Pottinger and Mrs. Yen Pottinger

Mr. Anthony Pratt and Ms. Claudine Revere

The Honorable Lindsay Reynolds

Mrs. Georgina Rinehart

The Honorable James Risch, United States Senator from Idaho and Mrs. Vicki Risch

Mr. Paul Ritchie, Senior Communications Advisor, Office of the Prime Minister of Australia

The Honorable John F.W. Rogers and Ms. Deborah Lehr

The Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce and Mrs. Hilary Ross

Mr. Phillip Ruffin and Mrs. Oleksandra Ruffin

The Honorable Daniel Scavino

The Honorable Marc Short and Mrs. Kristen Short

Dr. Michelle Simmons AO and Dr. Thomas Barlow

Mr. David Solomon and Ms. Jan Wilson

The Honorable David Stilwell and Mrs. Jan Stilwell

Mr. Kerry Stokes AC and Mrs. Christine Simpson Stokes

Mr. Curtis Stone and Mrs. Lindsay Stone

The Honorable John Sullivan, Deputy Secretary of State and Ms. Graciela Rodriguez

Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States and Mrs. Virginia Thomas

Mr. Andrew Thomas AO

Mr. Robert Thomson and Ms. Ping Wang

Ms. Elizabeth Uihlein and Mr. Jacob Peters

The Honorable Daniel Walsh and Mrs. Deborah Walsh

Mrs. Kathy Warden and Mr. Eric Warden

Mr. Nicholas Warner AO PSM, Director-General of National Intelligence

Ms. Shemara Wikramanayake and Mr. Michael Silverton

Mr. Michael Wirth and Mrs. Julie Wirth

Australia’s national colors set the theme for Friday night’s state dinner in the Rose Garden.

Green and gold dominated the decor and table settings for the outdoor event – a flower-filled evening that will take place just steps away from the Oval Office. 

It will be the second state dinner for Donald and Melania Trump since they entered the White House in the 2017 with the first lady taking the lead in planning the black tie occasion.

The dinner for the Australian prime minister will take place in the Rose Garden of the White House

The dinner for the Australian prime minister will take place in the Rose Garden of the White House

The dinner centerpieces feature more than 2,500 roses from California in shades of yellow and Australia's national floral emblem, the golden wattle

The dinner centerpieces feature more than 2,500 roses from California in shades of yellow and Australia’s national floral emblem, the golden wattle

Military musicians will entertain the guests at Friday night's event

Military musicians will entertain the guests at Friday night’s event

The East Wing offered a preview of the event to reporters Thursday night, show casing two of the tables that will be set up for the occasion while a military string orchestra played.

The dinner will take place under a starry sky with the soft light of oil lamps illuminating the well-dressed guests who will dance and dine under the shadow of the White House and with the Washington Monument visible in the distance. 

Warm gold hues and soft greens dominate the dinner stage and were derived from the national flower of Australia, the golden wattle, which has a yellow flower and green foliage. 

Flowers heavily dominate the decorations – an appropriate choice given its Rose Garden location. American varieties of yellow and white roses will set the back drop for the evening while the tables feature centerpieces containing more than 2,500 roses from California in shades of yellow and Australia’s national flower, the golden wattle. 

The Ground Floor Corridor of the White House – where guests will walk through to reach the dinner location – will feature garden roses, jasmine vines, and dahlias, all grown in the United States, to welcome attendees. 

The tables will be lit with oil lamps during the evening dinner

The tables will be lit with oil lamps during the evening dinner

The menu features American late summer food

The menu features American late summer food

President Trump will lead the toasts Friday evening

President Trump will lead the toasts Friday evening

First lady Melania Trump picked the theme and decorations

First lady Melania Trump picked the theme and decorations

The menu highlights the late summer season from America and pays homage to Australia’s special blend of culinary adaptations from its various cultures, the East Wing said in a statement.

State Dinner Menu 

First Course

Sunchoke Ravioli

Reggiano Cream

Shaved Summer Vegetables

Main Course

Dover Sole with Parsley Crisps

Zucchini Squash Blossoms

Fennel Mousseline

Baby Garlic Rouille

Dessert

Lady Apple Tart

Calvados Ice Cream

Wines

Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2017

The Argyle Pinot Noir ‘Reserve’ 2016 

J Demi-Sec NV 

The first course will be Sunchoke Ravioli with Reggiano Cream and Shaved Summer Vegetables. 

Sunchokes, known as ‘earth apples,’ are native to North America. The pasta will be drizzled with a lemony Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese emulsion and topped with shavings of sun gold carrots, baby kale, and sunchoke chips.

The main course will be Dover Sole, roasted whole, then fileted and accented with Fennel Mousseline. Accompanying it will be green and yellow summer squash blossoms, which will be picked Thursday. 

Dessert will be an American classic (and favorite of President Trump): Lady Apple Tart with Calvados Ice Cream – a rich vanilla ice cream topped with liquor. 

A variety of American and Australian wines will be served.  

Gold woven baskets with yellow roses and golden wattle – to symbolize the friendship between the two nations – will surround the guests. Pear branches from New England will fill decorative urns. 

Guests will dine on dover sole for the main course

Guests will dine on dover sole for the main course

The podium where the president and prime minister will give their toasts

The podium where the president and prime minister will give their toasts

The Clinton china will be used for the evening

The Clinton china will be used for the evening

The china from George W. Bush's administration will also be used

The china from George W. Bush’s administration will also be used

Band members practiced Thursday night ahead of the dinner

Band members practiced Thursday night ahead of the dinner

Melania Trump chose a table setting and decor that would reflect the strong ties between the United States and Australia

Melania Trump chose a table setting and decor that would reflect the strong ties between the United States and Australia

Ombre shades of yellow and green make up the table linens. Scattered throughout the place settings will be golden champagne grapes to highlight each of the countries’ wine industries.

The china settings will consist of alternating patterns from the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. 

Melania Trump chose a table setting and decor that would reflect the strong ties between the United States and Australia, according to her office.     

Musical groups from the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force will entertain the guests.

Morrison’s visit will include a pomp-filled arrival ceremony Friday morning featuring military bands, a press conference with him and Trump in the afternoon, followed by the dinner that evening. 

The morning arrival ceremony will feature nearly 500 members of the United States Armed Forces from the five military branches for a ‘Review of the Troops.’ 

Invited guests for the arrival include the president’s Cabinet, Members of Congress, military families, and guests of the Australian Embassy.

But the most glamorous moment of the visit will be the dinner. 

The guest list will be a closely guarded secret until the invited start arriving at the White House Friday evening for the black-tie event. 

Guests will likely include the vice president, administration officials, along with prominent Australians and Americans. 

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

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

Australian flags were up around the White House complex Thursday ahead of the visit

Greg Norman

Rupert Murdoch

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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