WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump will host the President of France for the first official state dinner of his presidency Tuesday night.
Monday night Trump welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigette at George Washington’s 18th-century mansion in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The relationship sealed with an aggressive Trumpian handshake, and regular phone calls.
Trump rolled out the red carpet Tuesday for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House. The colorful arrival included 500 troops from all five branches of the U.S. military.
“Now is the time for strength,” said Trump during a short speech. “Let us and France stand forever for liberty and peace.”
“France shares with your country an ideal of freedom and peace,” said Macron during his remarks.
Trump also expressed gratitude to Macron and the French people for their participation in the recent U.S. military action against Syria over chemical weapons.
Macron arrived in Washington with an agenda, persuade the president to keep U.S. troops in Syria and stay in the Iran nuclear deal. Trump has indicated that he’s leaning against both.
“If Iran restarts their nuclear they are going to have much bigger problems than they have ever had before,” said Trump.
“President Macron has broken the code with President Trump, he’s worked the relationship,” said Heather Conley, a former state department official, who added that this state visit will highlight unity and France’s acceptance of an alliance with Trump.
“This is returning a generous hospitality but also a way to really clearly state how strong a partner France is,” said Conley.
Macron treated the president to the Bastille Day parade in Paris last year, which included a tribute to the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War One. The spectacle inspired plans for a grand military parade in Washington in November.
Macron also treated the president and First Lady Melania Trump to an intimate dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Tuesday night’s dinner will be held in the state dining room. The First Lady did a final walkthrough Monday night to view the preparations.
“It’s in good hands. I think Mrs. Trump is very involved and the staff seems to love working with her,” said Jeremy Bernard.
Bernard was the social secretary in charge of planning state dinners for President and Mrs. Obama. He said the secret to a successful dinner is simple.
“Pull out all the stops, make them feel welcomed, and make it presidential as possible,” he said.
He added that there’s not a lot that can go wrong.
“Overall it’s pretty scripted. so, it just depends whether or not this president stays on script,” he said.
About 150 guests are expected to dine on rack of lamb and nectarine tart and enjoy an after-dinner performance by the Washington National Opera.