VICE PRESIDENT'S RESIDENCE
BREAKFAST WITH TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY
Best quote: "Ireland and the EU will never be but a friend to the United States,'' Mr. Kenny said.
Pool was ushered into the house shortly before 9 a.m. An Army string trio played in front of a roaring fire in the foyer, as about 40 guests – four tables of 10 – were served a breakfast of layered omelet with gruyere, spinach, roasted tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, country potatoes, a side of fresh fruit and breakfast breads. A chandelier sparkled in the dining room; there were sprays of white roses in vases, set on green brocade tablecloths.
The vice president and the Taoiseach each gave prepared remarks, standing before a mantle. There were no questions. One faux pas: Taoiseach Kenny mistakenly referred to President Trump as "President Bush,'' in his opening remarks, in describing how he asked "President Bush'' if he would continue the tradition of the St. Patrick's Day visit. And, he said, the president replied, "Yes, of course." No one acknowledged the mistake.
One other notable moment came when the Taoiseach cited 9/11 and noted that a lot of the first responders who lost their lives were Irish. To Mr. Pence, he said, he was pleased by "your emotional understanding of that connection."
Transcript will come from the White House later.
The vice president opened by saying "Top of the morning,'' and then spoke of his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, who came to the United States in 1923. The Taoiseach presented the vice president with a 1911 census showing his grandfather's residence in Ireland. We didn't see the document. But at a black tie dinner last night, the Taoiseach gave Mr. Pence a framed copy of the roster of his grandfather's elementary school in Ireland – a ''little country school,'' the vice president called it. The framed piece was on the mantle this morning, to the left of the podium; a framed photograph of the site of the cottage where Mr. Cawley lived as a child was on the mantle, to the right of the podium.
The vice president said the Pence family's connection to Ireland is ''enshrined in the heart of all our family members.''
Notable guests: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; Irish Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson; Mr. Pence's two sisters, Annie and Mary (unclear on their last names); Rep. Peter King, Tom Rooney and Former Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick and Fitzpatrick's father.
The VP said the presence of the members of Congress was "a testament to the strength of Irish stock and Irish luck.'' And he said his mother would have attended ''but for the snow.''
Full guest list from the vice president's office, below.
GUEST LIST, PER THE VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE:
Smyth Lonnie (Reece)