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Scott Morrison arrives at the White House for a state dinner with Donald Trump in the Rose Garden with Nicole Kidman and Greg Norman - after Melania gave Jenny a VERY frosty reception

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 21/09/2019 Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia and Australian Associated Press and Emily Goodin For Dailymail.com

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny have arrived at the White House for an official state dinner in the Rose Garden. 

The couple were greeted by host U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania. 

A stunning Mrs Morrison shone in a sparkly dark navy dress and matching shawl while Melania opted for a frilly light blue frock.

a woman standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Jenny Morrison greets  US President Donald Trump while her Prime Minister husband and Melania Trump watched on © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jenny Morrison greets  US President Donald Trump while her Prime Minister husband and Melania Trump watched on There was another awkward exchange between the two wives, who appeared unsure of whether to shake hands or hug before they settled on a kiss on each cheek.

The prime minister is just the second foreign leader to attend a U.S. state dinner since the Trump administration began three years ago.

Other Australian guests attending the dinner include actress Nicole Kidman, 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.

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Prime minister Scott Morrison greets US First Lady Melania Trump with a kiss on the cheek while their spouses watch on © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Prime minister Scott Morrison greets US First Lady Melania Trump with a kiss on the cheek while their spouses 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. 

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.

a person standing in front of a tiled floor: Golfing legend Greg Norman (pictured with wife Kirsten Kutner) is among a host of high profile Australians at the state dinner

Golfing legend Greg Norman (pictured with wife Kirsten Kutner) is among a host of high profile Australians at the state dinner
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

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.'

a group of people standing in a room: Jenny and Scott Morrison and Donald and Melania Trump pose for more photos in the White House grand foyer before dinner © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jenny and Scott Morrison and Donald and Melania Trump pose for more photos in the White House grand foyer before dinner Donald Trump et al. standing on top of a grass covered field: 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. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.

a group of people posing for the camera: 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 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.

PictureS: Melania Trump style file

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.

a woman talking on a cell phone: Melania sported a somewhat tense expression as she leaned in greet Jenny with a friendly kiss on the cheek © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.

a group of people wearing military uniforms: Trump and Morrison reviewed troops as a Marine band played © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.

Donald Trump et al. posing for the camera: First ladies Melania Trump (right) and Jenny Morrison (left) joined their husbands for the ceremony on Friday © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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.' 

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: President Trump hugs one of the children in the crowd

President Trump hugs one of the children in the crowd
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Melanie Trump wore a pale blue, long-sleeved dress by Australian designer Scanlan Theodore that retails for $800 to the ceremony and Jenny Morrison wore a navy dress. 

A military honor guard holding American and Australian flags stood along the White House portico - waving in the morning breeze - as the leaders exchanged greetings and shook hands with some of the guests.  

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said Friday that more than 4,500 people attended the welcome ceremony. 

One person in the crowd was spotted wearing a bright blue suit jacket made of a 'Keep America Great 2020' banner.

Guests included military families, lawmakers, Cabinet officials and guests of the Australian Embassy.

Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Joe Hockey were among the attendees.

Donald Trump et al. that are talking to each other: Melania Trump hugs Jenny Morrison as President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison exchange greetings

Melania Trump hugs Jenny Morrison as President Trump and Prime Minister Morrison exchange greetings
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

After the ceremony concluded, the two couples walked up the White House portico steps to wave to the crowd. Trump offered a thumbs up. Guests cheered and waved Australian and American flags at them as the Trumps and the Morrisons waved back. 

While the two leaders emphasized international cooperation, friendship is also on the menu during what is only the second state dinner of the president's administration.

Friday Schedule 

9:00 am: President Trump and Melania Trump welcome Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison on the South Lawn

9:30 am: The two couples participate in the official guest book signing and leader gift exchange

10 am: Bilateral meeting between Trump and Morrison

11:45 am: Press conference with Trump and Morrison

7 pm: The Trumps welcome the Morrisons for the state dinner

7:05 pm: Reception with Trumps and Morrison in the White House

7:35 pm: Receiving line for state dinner

 8:20 pm: State dinner formally begins

Friday's schedule has the two men meeting for bilateral talks and holding a joint press conference - a day that will be capped off with a formal black tie dinner beneath the stars in the White House Rose Garden. 

The morning arrival ceremony featured nearly 500 members of the United States Armed Forces from the five military branches. 

Morrison will also be honored with a luncheon at the State Department hosted by Secretary Mike Pompeo. 

In addition to a formal welcome and meetings in Washington D.C. on Friday, the Trump and Morrison will travel to Ohio on Sunday to tour a new, Australian-owned manufacturing facility there.

The plant is owned by Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt, who is a big Trump supporter. 

Their talks on Friday will focus on a range of issues including military and economic with a focus on the Pacific region. 

Trump's trade war with China will likely come up as China is Australia's leading trade partner and the U.S. one of its oldest allies - putting the country in an awkward position.

The leaders plan to sign a memorandum of understanding to further U.S. and Australia cooperation in space and on the use of rare earth minerals, according to a senior administration official. 

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: One visitor wore a Keep America Great Again jacket

One visitor wore a Keep America Great Again jacket
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Climate change and the situation with Iran will also be on the agenda.  

'Australia has been a tremendous partner for us as it relates to Iran's nuclear program and towards some of the challenges we face with Iran,' a senior administration official said Thursday on a call with reporters previewing the visit. 

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 

Australia joined the American-led effort last month to protect ships from Iranian threats in the critical Strait of Hormuz. 

After the day of meetings, the two couples will gather in the White House Rose Garden where Australia's national colors set for the state dinner.

Green and gold dominated the decor and table settings for the outdoor event, which will take place just steps away from the Oval Office.  

The colors decorating the dinner stage were derived from the national flower of Australia, the golden wattle, which has a yellow flower and green foliage.

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. 

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.

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 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. 

a table topped with glasses of wine: First lady Melania Trump picked the theme and decorations © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited First lady Melania Trump picked the theme and decorations

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.  

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.

Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp., will attend, while his father, Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch sits out this dinner, a Fox representative told AP. 

a clock on the side of a building: Australian flags were up around the White House complex Thursday ahead of the visit © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Australian flags were up around the White House complex Thursday ahead of the visit

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.  

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.  

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