Now it's President Donald Trump's turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive, the AP reports. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of US-French relations by playing host to President Emmanuel Macron at a glitzy White House state dinner on Tuesday. Months in the making, it's the first state visit and first big soiree of the Trump era in Washington. "It sounds like what they're planning will be spectacular," says Jeremy Bernard, who was White House social secretary in 2014, the last time the US feted a French president.
The White House has said little beyond the fact that dinner will be served, sticking to the tradition of trying to maintain an element of surprise for its guests. In fact, Macron will break bread twice with Trump. On Monday, the president and Melania Trump will dine privately with Macron and his wife, Brigitte, at Mount Vernon, the home of America's first president, George Washington, on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia. The White House said the setting will serve as a reminder of France's "unique status" as America's first ally. Trump ended his first year without receiving a foreign leader on a state visit, making him the first president in nearly 100 years to do so and heightening the stakes for Tuesday. Click for the whole story.