tv State Dinner for French President CSPAN April 24, 2018 7:21pm-8:49pm EDT
[inaudible] [inaudible] >> the first state dinner for the trump administration is underway. moments ago you saw emmanuel macron his wife arriving be greeted by president trump and melania. they have gone back into the white house and will be going upstairs for a brief visit. they will be treated to what the washington post called a mashup of american and french cuisine.
the created tonight's menu which includes a first course of goat cheese crumpled buttered biscuit and lettuces. the main course is a lack rack of lamb, onion sauce and carolina jambalaya. for dessert is a nectarine tart and ice cream. and performing will be the national opera. we want to talk about all that happens
that goes into preparing for pulling off a state dinner. we have the former chief a protocol for the obama administration is served from 2009 until 2013. in the social secretary for the clintons. >> it's an honor to be here. let's wash this taking place. i am feeling a little tinted jealousy.
there's nothing grander than a state visit in state dinner. as the highest invitation our president can extent to a president, prime minister, king or queen of another country. the evening is magical. >> a little jealous but aren't you glad not to have the nerve. it seems like there such high-stakes, but why? >> because of the type of invitation that's extended. it's the greatest honor at the moment it's extended at the end of january by president trump in the moment that happens that every office hears about it in the white house social office they begin immediately to start making plans. it's a minute by minute very detailed and meticulous
planning. it's exhausting but extraordinary. we take our direction from the president and first lady. they will determine how they will receive them and what the format of the day will be. there is a certain tradition, we've seen many elements take place to right now they arrival a -- for the beginning of the state dinner. it's a very special time and a wonderful celebration in a country. >> i want to get into the details of how you get it done. what designer did the first lady is wearing? and then with the reporter she's wearing chanel, hand-painted was silver and embroidered with
crystals in sequence. >> i want to talk more about the diplomatic repercussions somewhat consent to picking up the dress. >> will get to that later on talk about what mrs. mccrone is swearing. why is there ritual months first place? what message is the president trying to send. >> there's a special tone that is assigned to it. that perhaps there's a friendship being solidified between two countries or attempting to be achieved between two countries. there is certainly many issues at hand. we've heard throughout the day about some issues the two presidents have been discussing. in discussing quite openly. there are differences in
agreements. those issues begin to frame the visit. in the importance that is given to the visit. in addition to all of the aspects of the visit. the decorah, style, food, flowers, the colors, everything. last night -- yesterday one of my favorite moments was when the visiting dignitaries plane landed and i was standing on the tarmac with the delegation standing beside me. they descend the stairs and on the firsthand on behalf of the president of the united states extended to welcome the to the united states. it was a wonderful moment. i watch as a current chief of protocol is doing an excellent
job and has an extraordinary team, real professional, nothing will go arrive tonight. he greeted them and they were escorted to their cars. then the visit begins. everything is like clockwork and begins to take off. later they were greeted by president and mrs. trump the white house. they had a special dinner and evening plan for the at mount vernon. i love the special touches. throughout the obama administration president mrs. obama enjoyed having a special evening. sometimes with only the president visiting dignitaries senate gave him the opportunity to talk about things in a private setting, really enrich the relationship.
the president and mrs. trump took them to mount vernon. our home the home of our first president george washington in the history of it all and enjoy a meal there. in a quiet private setting really begin to solidify the relationship between our two nations. >> with the chief of protocol be involved last night? once you get the orders that the white house would like to do state dinner was the division of labor and who does what? >> the office of protocol is the bridge between the u.s. government in a foreign government. we take all of the orders and he details the president and the national security office have determined make sure they are
appropriately conveyed making sure that if they have any issues there conveyed back. were the bridge between the two. we manage all of the movements and we stay with the dignitary throughout the entire visit attending to every detail. versus social office stays within the ground to the white house. it tends to the more social aspect of the visit. there's a luncheon they tend to that. if there's a private visit with the first lady like there was today assist with the arrangements. the protocol will go along and because mrs. mccrone is there was ten to her needs. the social office determines all of the entertainment food, and decor. >> let's talk about what we just
saw. what is the protocol of the purpose of it? >> every greeting and every element throughout the entire visit as a tool and diplomacy. we are engaging in this visit and particularly, the strengthening of the bilateral relationship. the president is standing at one of the greatest symbols of the road, a friend of the white house on the north steps in greeting the dignitary of his wife to the white house for the special event. during the obama administration i precede the president mrs. obama. then i would have introductions again. there was at one particular state dinner will find me
ascending the stairs and an art word way. i had my skinny heels on the got stuck in a debit. i recovered. regrettably was with the president of mexico in my entire mexican side of the family was watching. >> you did recover that you are in the front row and all the cameras reacted. why is the chief of protocol, you pursue the obama was sent to members of the color guard proceeded mr. trump. you could see the chief of protocol behind. why is the chief of protocol so close on hand at that moment? >> you are the bridge between these two governments. if there any slight adjustments
or changes your there to immediately attend to it all. i did to say this about my fault president and mrs. obama were wonderful. she yelled don't take the picture and he went to grab me. meanwhile i was wanting to the flashlights. the position is there to attend any detail that might change or alter. also to make sure everything is conducted with the schedule that's been agreed on. in several months in the planning. you want to make sure every moment those details are tentative. >> do you brief the president and first lady before they come out about certain protocol? or maybe how you read french tradition or something along those lines. >> this evening everything will
be american. we are in our great country celebrating the best of our great country. i like to remark that when i work for first lady hillary clinton she said we want to showcase the best of america. that's what it's about. so first i would get any intelligence i could at the warehouse. that's the president's guesthouse. so if they've learned anything there running late tour there's a problem with a wardrobe issue or whatever that we are given that information and i can convey that to the presidents in the first lady. i'll do that in coordination with the white house secretary. when we are told that they are ready to go at the blair house
then will indicate that they will begin to take their place. >> do you ever get any intelligence that you can share with us about what is happening that might be unexpected? >> we did have a need for a seamstress for first lady at the last moment was only about ten minutes of the delay warehouse which is extraordinary building are so lucky to have it. the reagan administration made it what it is today. there are seamstresses who are there and can attend to the needs almost immediately. >> as the motorcade makes its way to the blair house to the white house, before that happens
we are watching the colorguard take their position. you remark that they have to stand for quite a while before they get that command of attention. you told the story about they need to ensure they don't faint and they do that by doing what? >> they bend their knees ever so slightly. because i have stood beside them on many occasions i have watched the amazing military officers go down. if there knees are locked. there's something that happens and i'm sure my dr. husband would say he told me this hundred times. and they immediately faint. and they're holding these guns and. >> why they there? >> there part of the pomp and circumstance of the week.
they're not decoration this is to show this is our military force. they are here to honor you and there part of the president's military so i had always been told by wonderful people who are part of the military district of washington that they're not decoration. this is really an element of the visit. it is part of the delegation and part of the presidents way of honoring the visiting president. >> what do we not see this happening? secret service, you have to pull the site off you have to work the secret service. >> absolutely. security is an toppled the have
the fine people who work in the secret service. they tend to every detail in coordination with the security that comes with the president of france as well. can sometimes be difficult sometimes to each have different needs are focusing on two different principles. >> beyond the white house social secretary stirring the spectacular job. there's a social secretary's club and everyone was sending out text messages and e-mails wishing her well. either way from johnson was sending her well wishes this evening. i know that sort of a swan gliding on the lake, she's elegant smiling and below the water her legs are paddling as
fast as they can. trying to always stay ahead of the activity to make sure everything that has been planned. >> what are the nerves like for the social secretary? >> freight. absolutely. the nerves are what keep you going. you have the high energy. i'm sure none of them have slept for the past 36 to 48 hours. been confirming all the details and running on caffeine completely. they probably have any and are moving to this visit as professionals. but the moment in an cannot wait to grab that glass of wine and collapse in the chair. as we see say hash and rehash the entire evening.
>> what about the first lady and her nerves. laura bush said she was more nervous about her first state dinner than her wedding. >> this is a big evening for mrs. trump. and there's a spotlight on the planning process. but with the selection why did she make certain selections will this be the trump style moving forward? all of her responsibilities and duties. it's quite clear that they are taking this very seriously. it is not just misses trumps duty seriously elected with extraordinary people on her team she is a great chief of staff
she kept on them so very pleased that they kept on chris on the white house chef. she joined 1995 she joined the white house under the clinton administration. when she worked for walter who has now passed. the mrs. obama elevated her for the first female chef. her food is beyond fabulous. it's delicious. >> the arrival has happened. we saw the presidents and their wives going to the white house where do they go next? what is the protocol of the part of the evening and who gets an invitation. >> they were escorted we saw them go left and to the left is the grand staircase.
they ascended the grand staircase to the second floor which is the personal home of the president. that is working lives with their son. so there fighting them into their home to have a personal moment with one another. it usually takes place in the yellow oval room with the truman balcony we saw them leaving earlier today. the have a moment to chat. the delegation will be brought on the french delegation will be scored the so they can interact. the designated time for escorted to the state floor going to the receiving line. then i'll be the colorguard back to the state floor of the president of the united states. >> why does that happen?
the ceremonial pieces of this are piece of diplomacy. >> you want to solidify show that this is a friendship we really value. on the ceremonial aspects that. >> to honor the french president and his wife how to go about deciding who should attend state dinner we should get that it invitation? >> that's an extraordinary process. both the clinton and obama administration people were kurds from various departments and state department agency, from the french embassy to -- names
for consideration they'll then be compiled in the list presented to the president and first lady for their consideration. of those there are looking for a trip you were chosen. >> tonight the first lady insisted she did not want to be a large state dinner. she wanted in the state dining. the ultimate numbers about 120. how difficult would it be to get the list down? >> it's difficult at any size. what i love about the white house, it's a spectacular venue. so many opportunities to entertain. the state dining room or a stroke. the south grounds so many
opportunities for first family to showcase their style in a manner in which they are going to entertain. >> when you receive an invitation what is the protocol? >> first you get excited and then you are requested to reply. there was a time when you would reply with the formal n right back that you accept this invitation. today there's either phone call or e-mail that you consent i believe they are requesting dates of birth and social security numbers. better make sure that's correct or you will gain entry into the white house think it's now the east side of the house that people are being received at.
>> do you have a good reason for saying no? >> out know why you would want to say no. >> it if you receive an invitation therefore reasons why acceptable to stay no. death in the family, serious illness, it's unavoidable that you cannot attend her wedding. >> all. that's honestly not official. >> i don't know. i would say if anyone were to receive an invitation to the state dinner they would try in every way possible to attend. >> the president was a mar-a-lago last week and some worried that he might invite people on the fly, friends of his that he sees. what kinda headache with a hap happy. >> no, we serve at the pleasure of the president.
i rate call very fondly when president clinton returned from a visit to the hospital and when he returned back she did have a state visit that evening and it was an activity he did with the visiting dignitaries. set i think we need to fight just to two more people is that okay. licensor i serve for you so if you want to add to people we will add to people. >> were talking about the state dinner in the french president and his wife have arrived at the white house. there are private visit with the president and his wife in the delegation.
this tradition dates back many years. the first in 1931. will begin in 1931 with president hoover hosted the prime minister them. there were 36 guests and 29 courses. in the 81, 84, and 87 president reagan hosted three french state dinners. the last french state dinner was in 2014. >> i wasn't there, i left regrettably by then. i would've enjoyed being part of that visit. at that visit president obama invited him to visit monticello because of the significance between our two countries. it was real significance there as well. >> some of the guests that
arrived we know earlier there were some republican lawmakers, paul ryan of the majority leader. we were probe political that mitch mcconnell was invited but is not attending. john kennedy from louisiana you heard him talk to the campus and bill cassidy's there as well. the foreign affairs chairman the low democrat politician was john bell edwards members of the cabinet and pass cabinets and other notables. does the country that's being honored lobby the white house for invites they consent to people. >> absolutely. that's encouraged. you want them to feel like they can have a say in the guest
list. it may only be ten people. their official delegation without spouse will be included. understand there's a business delegation that traveled within. some sure many those leaders were included. >> what do they have to get that requesting? you start preparing for tonight months in advance. >> it would be early on. the moment the invitation was extended and accepted their planning. i would meet with my counterpart at the warehouse. there be a delegation of advance people that we would meet at a table and go through every detail of the visit.
we would discuss guest list and entertainment. any issue. they have any food or flower allergies, specific colors of preference, any recent tasks so we make sure we don't use all white or all-black. many considerations. any everyone who has an interest is at the table. all the chefs are there, security, the office of protocol the social offices there. representatives from different places within the operator should. >> coming times a meeting with your counterparts? >> one formal large meeting. then i would assign a person who would lead the visit. i saw moments before you clicked off of it running up the steps was david sullivan.
i'm so proud that he's leaving this visit. now he will take over the details of the visit and continue to work with his counterpart in every detail. >> while were waiting for the president and the leader france to descend the grants dear case we want to show you the french perspective on tonight's dinner. here's covers fro france 24. >> the french president has a new bid on iran to persuade donald trump to persuade him to lead him have him stay into the paris accord. he's on a state visit. he has been lopping hard to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal ahead of a make or break
extension deadline. trump has threatened not to sign. part of the lavish state visit their focus on showing off their personal chemistry by planting a tree together. during that trying to address trump to not clearly indicate that he intends to carry out that thread to abandon the nuclear threat. he called the obama era deal and say. >> with france and the united states also agreed that iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. that regime must edit supportive terrorism. matter where you go in the middle east you see the fingerprints of iran behind problems. >> i want to start working on a new deal.
i've undoubtedly said that together we can find a new framework by which regional powers could succeed in finding a new agreement. i hope we can get started on the new path in the weeks and months to come. >> will talk more about the press conference earlier on a talk to the guardian state by asking what we knew about this new deal proposed by emmanuel mccrone. >> it seems like a determined effort to assuage trump and say let's not turn up the current to hastily and have nothing to replace it.
let's be constructive and broaden the terms to taken issues about what to do about syria and other regional powers. generally it's vague on details in an attempt to buy time. we know the -- of germany is coming. we could push the case for the 2015 iran deal. donald trump himself left us guessing. at one point he turned and said nobody knows i'm going to do next month but the president has good idea. perhaps he's already made his views and perhaps mccrone will tell others what to expect. >> we've seen how much they want
to show how close they are trump what's he's hoping to get out of this i think he's putting on trade and trump repeated his favorite word i doubt were going to see much movement and discussion about climate change and the paris climate record perhaps they ran deal is enough. i think the soft power trump likes to play the role of global statesman and having a joint the steel day in paris he's putting on a show and spectacle with the state dinner coming up tonight.
we've had the pageantry of military greeting and also striking body language along with muscular handshakes these to share in a bizarre moment today trump turned to macron and said he is removing dandruff off his shoulder. macron was polite and laughed about it. but a cringing moment that yet again trump trying to bully and threaten his way arounds a foreign leader. >> the french president little bit about him born in 1977 and married to a former he is a former investment banker.
he saw france 24 coverage of tonight state dinner for the trump administration. we have former social secretary for the clinton administration. we saw them focusing on the key policy and politics between the two countries. the large important issues that need to be resolved. tonight at the white house at those issues being discussed? >> there not the focus of conversation but the meetings before the dinner will have been strategic the accurat acting sey
of state and other tables this evening will be intentional. it will be interesting to see who's there. often within the social
framework a lot of business gets done. and before the gaston guest of honor takes their seatbelt be greeted by the two leaders. moments ago they dissented the grand staircase. let's take a look. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
the stairs in the pageantry of it. >> it's really very special. in this case very well orchestrated and it begins actually in the yellow oval office where the president receives the color. he saw the divisions of the military and the color guard and they approach the president and request permission and then the colors are posted. they then take their positions. i'll never forget during the clinton administration one military officer got his leg entangled in the chandelier. he was about to pull it. at that moment mrs. clinton said let's stop for a moment and unwind it and go back.
let's not have the chandelier come down. he was so mortified. it was all fine in the end but i watched thinking we cannot lose leaders with the chandelier. they lead those leaders on the grand staircase. >> who's doing the escorting and why? >> there the divisions of our military. as the president's military and representatives from those and where their color in the carry colorguard it's a great honor. those gentlemen are really privileged in this capacity. there at the top of their ranks and given a tremendous honor. >> typically it's hail to the chief that we are playing.
it wasn't tonight. why wasn't hail to the chief? >> is the president's choice. at the arrival ceremony i was surprised but that i was nice of the 21st ladies were on the podium with the two presidents. oftentimes there standing to the side along with the delegation. we know that before the duties of the chief of protocol lightly adjusted. they have made some changes to the music the display. the military band is an extraordinary tool. if they would've panned to them through their mammogram fo the
grand foyer. this was a procession that was chosen for this occasion. >> compare this to what we saw and president trump visited emmanuel macron in france for the steel day. that was circumstance there. >> a military pray. that would be quite an achievement. quite a duty to have to do. for similar like the inaugural
parade seems a little more complicated. we all have our ceremonies and traditions and customs throughout the world. this is one way they chose to honor the president. >> it looks like a lot of resources for that. for a state dinner how much goes into the cost? >> it ranges. there is appropriated funding from congress set for these events. >> is at a budget that increases rehab to keep tabs on. we had one last month so we can have another one for a few months. >> of course. there's budget offices that oversee all of this. >> for the role of cheap
protocol that's one aspect of your child. what are other responsibilities and what training do you get to be chief of protocol? >> i have served in the previous administration social secretary. is able to see firsthand the duties of the chief of protocol. i was quite envious of everything that was happening at the state department. first generation of mexican croatian dissent. the home is filled with people from other countries languages being spoken. felt quite comfortable for me. the duties are extensive. so wonderful aspect that ambassador lawler is experiencing. you oversee the credentialing of the diplomatic corps.
all ceremonies at the state department she also had the acting secretary of state of vice president hosted president macron for a state luncheon. they probably had a hundred 50 to 250 people. you oversee those activities and you also oversee when things don't go quite right with those in the diplomatic court. you have to attend to any issues that come from problems there. you travel with the president when he goes abroad and manage those duties. you're always trying to stand top of the form policies that the president is engaging. that agenda is definitely part of what you're attending to.
>> your within the state department correct? >> our offices are on the first floor. >> the president has to nominate you and you have to be confirmed. what was that process like? >> i was lucky and forever grateful to secretary clinton offering my name to president obama and he accepted my day. if you go through every question that they can think of. there's an amazing team of people that work that help me get through that process. make go before the senate. i was voted through and then are finally sworn in. i was sworn into my position and took upon my duties. >> how were you trained in the
customs of other countries? >> one of my greatest lessons that i take to heart is impress upon others that come into the position is do your homework. pick sides on every things. i would reach out to my counterparts and ask about their customs. our team would do extensive research we would have additional conversations. we talked to a lot of people to make sure that we have the details right before we convey information to the president and first lady. >> when it comes to diplomacy and what the first lady is going
to wear we learned earlier from cnn that the first lady, her dress is hand-painted with silver and has sequencing crystals. >> is this something that the chief protocol has a saying? >> within the united states the first lady is at liberty to anything she wants. but what we will do for both the president of the first lady and her dignitaries is present a memo to the when they travel abroad outlining if there any particular things they should be aware of, should there had be covered, sarah like the dress should your shoulders be covered.
we will make note of those that make sure that is conveyed to the first lady's office well in advance of any visit. >> along with the president don't cross your leg and show the bottom of your foot, certain handshake, don't you gone. there's occasions when the first lady should not shake hands with the mail and a visiting delegation because of religious purposes. >> when they traveled to france we saw different types of looks and fashion of the first lady. she obviously chose what she was going to wear but there would be input about what to avoid. >> absolutely on every foreign trip you would make sure we gave any intelligence we received the we double checked it to make
sure it was correct. in addition to any practices or traditions that they should know or avoid. >> will the two ladies in the offices try to coordinate your colors? other state dinner this evening? >> often times know. but these two first lady seem to be clicking. it's working very well. they looked spectacular in the arrival ceremony. >> does the social secretary have input with which dress you may choose? >> the relationship between social secretary and first lady has varied oftentimes the first
lady will reach out to the social secretary to find a designer or people mixing designs? >> were you inundated with suggestions? >> lots of ideas. people always felt they should be wearing my dress that evening. >> with a send address? >> is usually sketches of designs. >> and is it purchased by the first lady? what happens to the dress? >> more than likely it will eventually go to archives and then go on display. at the clinton library many of mrs. clinton's former counselor now on display.
the symbol of the evening into talk about history on that state visit. through the visual of the count. >> does it have any impact on diplomacy? >> you can. mrs. obama had worn a chinese-american design for the china state visit to mrs. clinton or vera wang for the china state visit during the clinton administration. those tip of the hat to a visiting delegation to talk about the richness of our great country. we are the melting pot made up of people all over the world's cultures and traditions. when any comes with us we celebrate that commonality and
how they are part of the fabric of america. >> it can be a big economic for the design. >> there several that i think obama put on the front line. >> she was great about mixing designers like j.crew of things your foot get off the rack. >> was that new with michelle obama? was that something you developed or might see carryover with melania trump style choices? >> over the years it became a focus on fashion. mrs. bush before mrs. clinton. that was her nemesis clinton had
several designers that she would wear and prefer to wear. one -- in the mrs. bush enjoyed wearing others. then fashion took another step forward during the obama administration and became more of a focus. she really advance the careers of so many unknown designers. the fashion industry is one of the greatest industries in the united states. bringing attention to it is a smart thing. >> we saw that previous first ladies are intimately involved in how the deluxe. menu choices. leslie white house gave a preview of what those that are
invited will see when they walk into the state dining. cream and gold things, you have the white floral arrangements in the middle of the many on the table. >> this beautiful china. this china. i'm so pleased they're using the clinton china. i worked closely with them first lady hillary clinton on the design. she took a lot of time and effort in every detail in working with the white house association. the first time the white house itself was in the center. recent was designed is because the eisenhower baseplate they wear over time. there was fewer and fewer.
we cannot use a full set in the log rather state dinner. it's time for a new set to be created. the 200th anniversary of the white house was a special occasion. they decided to create a new set of china. she worked with designer supplements created that exclusive state china. so proud of it when i saw they're going to use it this evening also there using the bush china. mrs. bush created a pale green lattice style white house china. very lovely this evening and would blend in with the flowers on the table. >> talked about deciding the
menu for tonight my cousin to that. winterson they're going to be eating the first courses goat cheese and buttermilk biscuit in the rack of spring land, onion sauce and rice jambalaya. the desert is an actor a tart with some ice cream. >> throughout the menu i'm sure that christmas special selections and presented it to mrs. trump for her tasting. in her final selection of all the elements is perfect. situate american many the little nod to the french. ca goat cheese -- it sounds great. and the tomatoes jam.
the crème fraîche bicycling scanner be heavier and richer and really delicious. otherwise they selected as well chardonnay has was the plans were taken from the dishon area implanted in oregon. a real blend of our two nations. they really looked at the details somehow can we say we appreciate you and are honoring you. are a part of our country. >> for the social secretary the details and the logistics must be difficult. >> yes. putting everything in order and making sure you selected appropriately you wanted to make sure he created no fences to anyone.
making sure no allergies or issues. so she's checking once, twice, three times. then presented the options to the first lady. here some opportunities and selections. the first lady begins to make her decisions. in the end it's her style of her decisions. it's the evening of mrs. trump. >> how to get everything you're serving to the white house. was that process like? >> i left the to others. there are processes there's a team of people who work in the ushers office sent on the grounds crew and in the white house kitchen to make sure all of those things are delivered
safely, securely and on time. there's also a wonderful -- of the white house florist. i hear shoes wonderful. the previous one just passed away and she serve so many presidents. they have been here for three, four, five white house butler serving the meal many of them have worked for five or six presidents. they're still doing a great job in guiding everyone else on the path you should take. >> what did you learn from any of those veteran white house staffers? >> they've seen it done as have
seen it tried to be performed in a different way. they'll say let me just give you a word of warning. you don't really want to go there. the time a history and's. one thing that's extraordinary is they count all of the flatware. they make sure that before anyone leaves the flatware's counted. and people have attempted to sneak a fork or spoon. that does not happen. >> they've been busted and it has been returned. that's her job. it's just rental from a caterer. it is historic. the flatware has been there for years and years.
you don't want any of those pieces going. as part of our american history. >> these folks are integral behind the scene. >> they just make it happen. they magically bring everything together. there's so many wonderful people who work. they're really wonderful people who care about the house and attend to every president first families needs. >> some staffers were working tonight behind the scenes along with the color guard in our military and the other folks that you so earlier tonight. when the french president arrived for this evening's dinner, we understand the president, the first lady and
c-span's howard morton. i'm going to thank the president of france for -- to the united states. that's what he told the cameras as he arrived for tonight's festivities. other people attending this evening speaker of the house paul ryan and majority leader kevin mccarthy, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell was invited but is not attending according to "politico." we all saw some members of the president's cabinet treasury secretary along with his wife wilbur ross the commerce secretary, the va secretary as well. newman or so the president trump's cabinet john bolton who is hoping to be part of the president's cabinet and former cabinet members like former secretary of state henry kissinger and other societal notables all attending tonight's state dinner.
krista marshall has been with us giving us the inside scoop of what's happening what we see and what we don't see. we are waiting for the traditional toast. >> guest: its part the formality. the dinner usually starts off with a welcome by the host and then a thank you by the dignitary. the president will begin by raising his glass in honor of president brigitte macron and mrs. brigitte macron and a few words. the friendship of our country and the coming together of those bilateral relationships and trying to make it stronger. then-president macron will
reciprocate and thank him for the great honor. >> host: is there something that they are supposed to drink when they toast each other? or at least when they raised the glass? >> guest: it is brought out by one of the white house butler's at the appropriate time next to the podium. there have been visiting dignitaries who do not drink alcohol so in the glass instead would be a glass of water. >> host: in the toast of the present we'll get to and i traditionally is that something that is protocol that you would want to see before you would deliver that? >> guest: the remarks? when we were actually visiting in the uk for president obama it's very particular and one of the highlights of my career to
be in the president's of her majesty. at the dinner for the toast the president really listen to all the details that i gave andy attended to all the details perfectly. it was my fault, i accepted responsibility because there is a toast to the band up in the balcony and when the president says to her majesty they are to play the national anthem, well in the middle of his toast he continues. they thought that was the q&a began to play the anthem. the toasted not stop while the national anthem is playing. he cannot stop the national anthem once it begins playing.
i'm sitting along the side going oh no but it finished perfectly and he raised his glass not clinking. he raised his glass in her honor the toast actually make quite a difference and are very important. >> host: be on the end beyond the guests of honor this evening who else is in the state dining room moving about? >> guest: the white house social secretary will be making sure every detail is going as planned and there are no issues. things are flowing and the music is playing. if there is an issue you just want to keep an eye on the side of the dining room and you are keeping an eye on the first lady and the president and if you see them give you to look you make your way over there pretty quickly. they also convey a message to
you and the white house butler also to say let's get this moving. let's get this rolling or this is moving too quickly, let's slow it down or what's next? whatever it might eat the convey a whole host of messages. the cheaper protocol is speaking about the next piece. that would be a departure. once it's in the grammar of the white house and the social aspect when the evening is started you make sure they are in the hands of the white house social secretary. she will be seated at tonight's dinner i believe. they are at all the dinners as a guest so they are now with the delegation and among the delegation. the departure in making sure that the cars the motorcade and the arrangements are all in place for the appropriate departure. >> host: is their head table
typically and who is sitting at the head table? >> guest: usually there's ahead table and typically would be the president in the first lady and the visiting president and the first spouse and then the minister of foreign affairs, some counterparts minister of defense usually up to that point and then thereafter then they will be a host of tables within the dining room. >> host: what kind of discussions do you have about the type of tables they use? is this a yu shape? why is that important? >> guest: i think it is important. it's the style of the first family and how they feel comfortable. during the clinton administration they preferred round. during the obama administration they said they want rectangular.
some during the eisenhower was the shape of an e and other administration's it was an e on both sides. we believe the style is the choice of the first family and how they feel comfortable. >> described the strategy and why that's important. >> guest: seating can be a nightmare. everyone has wishes. and everyone wants to be seated at the president and first lady's table 1 and foremost. more often than not they want to be seated with their spouse and uncertain occasions that's appropriate and other occasions probably not. then they have specific guess
the comment because they have a special relationship or friendship or they are conducting business. oftentimes it's the perfect opportunity to have a teaching conversation about the work at hand so they take all of that information and make lots of notes and then you present a draft which gets completely moved around to the president and the first lady. >> host: after the toast the cameras are usually on. how long did the festivities go on and have there ever been in the late late nights and your experience? >> guest: oh yes there have been some late late nights. there've been many late late nights. interestingly during president and mrs. clinton's time they enjoyed giving tours after the dinner and anyone who stayed around let's go to the office and walked the grounds and some
of those evenings would go on quite late. they had a single walk one time with prime minister and mrs. blair at the piano. >> host: what did they say and >> guest: thankfully it really was -- because the others had voices that weren't really that good but it would go on sometimes until late. they used to have lots of fun and there was lots of great entertainment that was their. now after the toast is finished and there is a timing to the evening. we created a document that we call the tick tock and from the moment of the rival everything
is timed. how long it takes for the first one and just how long for the main course and then for the desert. they have chosen three courses. usually there are four courses. >> host: that is all timed out in precision so hopefully you end at a certain point. >> guest: yes and then you have the entertainment. someone has to make sure that the entertainers know that you are on and they are well prepared and ready to go at the appropriate time. it really is important that you stick to the timing. >> host: how do you know when it's all over? >> guest: when the president and the first lady come up to you and they give you a big hug.
you are really doing this to make sure that the invitation they have extended in their mind and their hopes and wishes were attained. >> host: did they ever in preparation for the next state dinner are there lessons learned? >> guest: these are conveyed. immediately. if people are not completely satisfied you will hear about it very quickly. there is a very close relationship between the white house and the secretary and the first lady and the president as well as the protocol. those are the positions that you work from 10 to 10 because you are conveying wishes and it's one of their instruments implementing how the entire visit goes.
you will immediately here. >> host: what sort of messages to you get, congratulatory messages from the two presidents? >> guest: oh well i do recall the north atlantic treaty organization where we had 43 heads of government at the white house at one time during our engagement in kosovo. it was quite an extraordinary time and our rifles were literally i believe that it had to happen within a minute and a few seconds and everything was perfectly timed. everything was mapped out into such detail. at the end of that evening when the last leader had left in the last delegation had pulled away and the president and
mrs. clinton looked at me and they said thank you. thank you on behalf of our country and i was just so moved by that. with such a warm tremendous feeling to think that not only was i serving down to this really was about the country. it put me in the position of chief of protocol and having served in that capacity for president in mrs. obama i do recall leaving the south grounds and the delegation now is loading up and the president put his hand on my back, president obama and he said thanks, you did good. it was again just one of those wonderful moments and wonderful feelings that you served your president and served your first lady and serve your country. >> host: we appreciate your insight tonight and all of the
tidbits that you shared with us about what it takes to pull off a state dinner so thank you so much. jessica thank you, greta. >> host: it is not over for the white house staff for the trump administration. the president and first lady their state dinner, the first four president trump in first lady melania trump is underway at the white house and we are waiting for them to give those traditional toasts. we will bring them to you here on the c-span network. we are going to say goodnight for now and we'll try to bring you those when they happen. keep watching but we will end with reminding our viewers about tomorrow. emmanuel macron the french president stays in washington and tomorrow he will be talking to house and senate lawmakers for a joint meeting of congress and we will have coverage of that starting around 10:30 a.m. eastern time on c-span,
c-span.org where you can listen and go to the c-span video app. thank you for watching. >> the news starts to spread through newspapers around the country and it seems to be swaying voters. there's even a famous editorial cartoon that comes out explaining mom, mom, where's my paco x.. >> the first few episodes in my head they all kind of hang around as we the people so was in exploration of gender, race nationality ancestry. then we sort of move and the idf and there are couple of episodes about justice and