US President Donald Trump has shunned the White House Correspondents' Dinner since taking office
Washington (AFP) - Elvis' velvety voice filled the White House briefly on Friday when a recording of one his songs was played at a ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump to honor the king of rock 'n roll.
Elvis was part of an eclectic group of seven Americans being awarded the Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.
Also posthumously honored was baseball legend Babe Ruth, while the living recipients included Miriam Adelson, who, like her casino tycoon husband Sheldon Adelson, is a heavyweight Republican party donor.
Trump's homage to Elvis -- who once met with president Richard Nixon at the White House in 1970 -- paused for a recording of the gospel song "How great thou art."
Trump said that playing music was his idea but when the richly toned performance stopped after just a few seconds, the disappointed president complained that staff organizing the event "have no promotional ability."
Trump also recalled that he had attended an Elvis performance himself decades ago, where overexcited fans were "ripping the place apart, screaming. They were going crazy."
To calm the crowd, an announcement was made that "Elvis has left the house," he said, joking that if "they didn't say that I think I would still be there -- maybe I wouldn't be here."
Other honorees were: late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia; longtime Republican Senator Orrin Hatch; and NFL Hall of Famers quarterback Roger Staubach and defensive tackle Alan Page, who went on to serve as a state supreme court justice in Minnesota.