Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny have attended the White House for an official state dinner in the Rose Garden hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania.
Mr Morrison is just the second foreign leader to attend a U.S. state dinner since the Trump administration began three years ago and the first Australian prime minister to score an invite since George W Bush hosted John Howard in 2006.
Mr Trump paid tribute to Australia and Mr Morrison at the dinner by quoting from iconic poem No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest.
First published in the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1940, the poem featuring a stirring call to patriotism was penned by Mr Morrison’s great-great aunt Dame Mary Gilmore, who is on Australia’s $10 note.
U.S. President Donald Trump quoted a poem from Scott Morrison’s great great aunt at the White House state dinner
The President raised a toast to Scott Morrison (left) after addressing guests at the dinner in the White House Rose Garden
‘We are the sons of Australia, of the men who fashioned the land; We are the sons of the women who walked with them hand in hand; And we swear by the dead who bore us; By the heroes who blazed the trail,’ Mr Trump quoted from the poem.
In reply, Mr Morrison paid tribute to the warm hospitality from the U.S President and First Lady during his speech where he praised the US president’s ‘belief in America and its people’.
‘Thank you so much Mrs Trump for the amazing night you’ve created for us here,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘Mrs Trump, your kindness, warmth and quiet grace with a welcome to Jenny and I tonight has been very special.’
He also celebrated the long-standing alliance between Australia and America, toasting to ‘100 years of mateship and to 100 more’.
‘Australia will never be accused of indifference in our friendship with the United States,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘Tonight we are reminded that the United States feels the same way, especially under your leadership.’
Golfing legend Greg Norman (pictured with wife Kirsten Kutner) is among a host of high profile Australians at the state dinner
Lachlan Murdoch and wife Sarah were also among the Australian contingent among the 173 guests at the state dinner
Guests at the black-tie affair feasted with ravioli with cream and vegetables, dover sole and apple pie with ice cream
Earlier, the Morrisons were greeted by the US First Couple at the entrance of the White House.
A stunning Mrs Morrison shone in a sparkly dark navy halter gown from Australian designer Carla Zampatti and matching shawl with her hair pinned up in a chic updo while Melania opted for a frilly light green J Mendel frock.
While Mr Morrison and Mr Trump appear to be enjoying a ‘bromance’, things appeared somewhat frostier between their wives.
There was an awkward exchange between the two women, who appeared unsure of whether to shake hands or hug before they settled on a kiss on each cheek.
The pair earlier also looked a little uncomfortable as they stood next to each other for a photo and exchanged greetings.
The president quoted from an iconic Australian poem penned by Scott Morrison’s great great aunt Mary Gilmore at the dinner
Scott Morrison (pictured with US president Donald Trump) is first Australian prime minister to attend a White House state dinner since George W Bush hosted John Howard in 2006
Jenny Morrison greets US President Donald Trump while her Prime Minister husband and Melania Trump watched on
Prime minister Scott Morrison greets US First Lady Melania Trump with a kiss on the cheek while their spouses watch on
His wife’s French Navy Illicit Dress worn earlier in the day for her official White House arrival is from Australian designer Ginger & Smart’s latest spring collection and retails for $599.
The French Navy Illicit dress was her second outfit from the Australian designer in recent days, three days after her forest green jumpsuit turned heads at the annual Mid Winter Ball in Canberra on Wednesday night.
It’s the second time in recent days Mrs Morrison has donned a Ginger & Smart designer outfit, three days after her forest green jumpsuit turned heads at the annual Mid Winter Ball in Canberra on Wednesday night.
Other Australian guests attending the alfresco dinner include golfer Greg Norman, prominent businessman Andrew ‘Twiggy Forrest, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, U.S ambassador and former federal treasurer Joe Hockey, astronaut Andy Thomas, businessmen Lachlan Murdoch and Kerry Stokes and chef Curtis Stone.
Jenny Morrison receives a White House welcome from Donald Trump as Scott Morrison and Melania Trump watch on
Around 173 attendees at the green and gold-themed black-tie affair will feast on a lavish three course meal starting with ravioli with cream and summer vegetables, followed by dover sole and finished off with apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
Dinner centerpieces feature more than 2,500 yellow California roses and Australia’s national flower, the golden wattle, while the garden itself will be decorated with white and yellow roses.
Musical groups from the U.S. military will provide the evening’s entertainment.
Mr Trump said they would have a great time night celebrating Australia.
‘He’s really something special, we had a special day,’ Mr Trump told Sky News Australia.
‘Australia is a great country, beautiful place… I have a lot of friends from Australia. A very strong, great people.’
Earlier, he dubbed Mr Morrison a ‘man of titanium’ in their first meeting in the president’s Oval Office.
Donald Trump (second right) was full of praise for Australian prime minister Scott Morrison ‘He’s really something special, we had a special day,’ he told Sky news Australia. The pair are flanked by Jenny Morrison (left) and Melania Trump (right)
Jenny and Scott Morrison pose for photos with Donald and Melania Trump before heading into the Rose Garden for the dinner
Jenny and Scott Morrison and Donald and Melania Trump pose for more photos in the White House grand foyer before dinner
In a reference to George W. Bush’s ‘man of steel’ label for John Howard, the last Australian leader to be honoured with a full state visit to the United States, Mr Trump picked a harder metal.
‘You know, titanium’s much tougher than steel,’ he told reporters at the White House on Friday as Mr Morrison and their wives Melania Trump and Jenny Morrison looked on.
‘He’s a man of titanium, believe me, I have to deal with this guy.
‘You might think he’s a nice guy, OK, he’s a man of real, real strength and a great guy.’
With Scott Morrison (left) by his side, Donald Trump addresses the 173 guests at the state dinner in White House Rose Garden
U.S. President Donald Trump (right) has dubbed Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) a ‘man of titanium’ in their first meeting in the president’s Oval Office.
While Morrison and Trump hit it off immediately, things were somewhat frostier between Morrison’s wife Jenny and First Lady Melania.
Former model Melania, 49, looked tense as she greeted Jenny, 51, with an awkward kiss on the cheek.
The pair also looked a little uncomfortable as they stood next to each other for a photo.
Earlier, the Trumps welcomed the Morrisons to America with full military pomp and circumstance on the South Lawn of the White House.
Earlier on Friday, Jenny Morrison (left) and First Lady Melania Trump (right) stunned in blue, with Jenny wearing a royal blue frock while Melania stunned in a light power blue
‘Today we vow to carry on the righteous legacy of our exceptional alliance,’ Mr Trump told the gathered crowd of about 4500 people.
That alliance stretched back over more than a century of joint military operations, both leaders noted.
‘From the woods of Le Hamel to the jungles of Southeast Asia to the dust of Tarin Kot in Uruzgan, and now the waters of the Strait of Hormuz, Australians and Americans have always stood together,’ Mr Morrison said.
The joint operations in the waters south of Iran are a major topic of conversation for the leaders and their officials during the top-level meeting on Friday.
Mr Trump said he thought the US had taken a ‘very measured and calibrated approach’ towards the Middle Eastern nation.
Melania sported a somewhat tense expression as she leaned in greet Jenny with a friendly kiss on the cheek
Mr Trump then repeatedly suggested he could make the call to go to war against the Middle Eastern nation right then and there with Mr Morrison and the media pack in the room.
‘The easiest thing I can do, in fact I can do it while you’re here, is say, ‘go ahead fellas, go to them’. And that would be a very bad day for Iran,’ he said, after announcing stronger economic sanctions on Iran.
Australia has so far agreed to a limited contribution to the US-led freedom of navigation operation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The talks between the leaders are also expected to encompass trade and the tensions with China, co-operation on the US plans for space missions to the moon and Mars, and rare earth exports.
‘For a century we have done what true friends do – stick by each other,’ Mr Morrison said at the welcome ceremony.
‘Whatever lies ahead in this century, I know that Australia and the United States will go on to meet it with the same courage, the same daring, and the same unbreakable bond that has defined the first century of mateship.’
He leaves a visual reminder of this long friendship, giving Mr Trump a statue of WWII soldier Leslie ‘Bull’ Allen carrying a wounded American off the battlefields of Papua New Guinea.
Trump and Morrison reviewed troops as a Marine band played
The pair have spoken about Corporal Allen’s story twice previously and for Mr Morrison, it symbolises the indelible bonds that tie the nations together.
Later Mr Morrison will be honoured, first with a luncheon for about 220 guests hosted by Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department, and then with an official state banquet in the gardens of the White House.
He is expected to delve further into the important economic ties at the State Department lunch, noting the US has had a trade surplus with Australia – selling more Down Under than it buys – since the Truman administration.
‘All US exports enter Australia tariff-free and quota-free. You can’t get a better deal than that,’ he will say, according to speech notes.
President Trump welcomed Morrison to the White House on Friday, praising the ‘long-cherished and unwavering friendship’ and ‘exceptional alliance’ the two nations have enjoyed for more than a century.
First ladies Melania Trump (right) and Jenny Morrison (left) joined their husbands for the ceremony on Friday
‘Last year our nations commemorated ‘100 years of Mateship’ since our gallant service members fought together in World War I,’ Trump boasted, after the two men reviewed troops, witnessed a 19-gun salute, posed for selfies with people on a rope line, hugged a few children and heard both national anthems.
A fife and drum corps in replica Revolutionary War-era uniforms marched across the lawn, led by a drum major carrying a gleaming, sharpened pike.
Trump highlighted ‘our shared fights against the menace of fascism, communism and radical Islamic terrorism.’
‘Thanks, mate!’ Morrison told him as the rare ceremony unfolded on the South Lawn. ‘You won’t find a more sure and steadfast friend,’ he said, adding that ‘Australians and Americans understand each other like few other people.’
Morrison praised the United States, saying ‘the world is a better place because of this country living out its moral purpose.’
President Trump hugs one of the children in the crowd
The unusual pomp at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue came at the beginning of what is just the second State Visit Trump has hosted for a foreign leader
The formal arrival ceremony took place ahead of bilateral meetings between President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison
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