U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome leaders from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland to the White House for a star-studded state dinner. Rough Cut (no reporter narrration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) After a day of meetings, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the leaders of five Nordic nations as they arrived at the White House for a star-studded state dinner on Friday (May 13). The state dinner, which included guests Will Farrell and David Letterman, was to be held in a tent with a transparent ceiling, with lighting, flowers and ice sculptures evoking the northern lights. Pop star Demi Lovato, known for her support of liberal causes, will perform after guests enjoy a main course of ahi tuna, tomato tartare, and red wine braised beef short ribs. Earlier in the day, Obama and the leaders of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland gathered at the White House for talks that focused on Russia and the crisis in Syria and Iraq that has sparked a flood of migrants to Europe. The leaders presented a united front against Russia, expressing concern about Moscow's military buildup in the Baltics and calling for sanctions against Russia to continue. Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 alarmed its Nordic and Baltic neighbors. With the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) considering ways to try to deter further Russian aggression, the White House wants to show support for its northern European allies. Obama lauded the humanitarian and environmental accomplishments of his guest nations, which have been key supporters of an international deal to curb climate change that the White House sees as a key part of Obama's legacy.