Trump to host state dinner for Australian prime minister

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump arrives at the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 21, 2019, after spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are hosting an official visit and state dinner in September for the prime minister of Australia, a conservative, who like Trump, defied public opinion polls and won his first full term in office last May.

It’s only the second state dinner Trump has held since he became president. The first was for French President Emmanuel Macron in April 2018.

The White House announced Monday that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, have been invited to the Sept. 20 dinner.

Morrison was only installed the previous August by government colleagues who had lost confidence in his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull. His tenure was expected to be a short one, but his conservative coalition won a surprise victory.

Trump and Morrison had dinner last month when the two attended a Group of 20 summit in Japan. They spoke briefly with reporters.

Morrison said Trump had a standing invitation to visit his country when a U.S. and international golf team competed for the 2019 President’s Cup. Trump declared that Morrison’s victory didn’t surprise him.

“They called it an upset, but I don’t call it an upset,” Trump told him. “It’s a fantastic thing you did.”

A White House state dinner is a glamorous affair that showcases global power and influence, typically featuring hundreds of guests and an exchange of toasts between the two leaders.

The White House said the visit will celebrate the two countries’ close friendship and shared history, and reaffirm a common vision for global peace and prosperity.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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