Fox, Marvel Executives Among Guests at State Dinner for Morrison

Justin Sink and Jennifer Jacobs

(Bloomberg) -- Fox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch and Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter were among those attending President Donald Trump’s second State Dinner on Friday, in honor of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The guest list included a number of conservatives from government and businesses. Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, who also attended, are Trump supporters, and Murdoch’s Fox News is a favorite of the president’s.

Guests also included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Australian financial services giant Macquarie Group Ltd. Golfer Greg Norman, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy attended as well.

The president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was there as well, after spending two days defending Trump amid questions over whether he put inappropriate pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.

The dinner followed a day of meetings and a joint press conference with Morrison, a like-minded conservative leader.

Morrison and his wife were welcomed Friday morning in a ceremony that included nearly 500 U.S. armed forces members.

Before the dinner, Trump toasted Morrison. “May our heroes ever inspire us,” Trump said.

Friday’s menu includes a vegetarian ravioli served with a lemon-cheese emulsion and roasted and fileted Dover Sole. The White House is serving an apple tart with ice cream for desert, and wines from the Spring Mountain vineyard in Napa Valley in California and Argyle Winery in Oregon.

The only other State Dinner Trump has hosted was for French President Emmanuel Macron in April 2018. The last time an Australian leader received such a welcome in Washington was in 2006 when John Howard was hosted to a State Dinner by his close friend George W. Bush.

Topics of discussion between Trump and Morrison included China trade and Australian assistance countering Iran as the U.S. weighs a response to the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities that American officials have blamed on the Islamic Republic. The leaders also planned to discuss joint efforts to address North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

(Updates with Trump comment in seventh paragraph.)

--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.

To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net;Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Kevin Whitelaw

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