Presidential son Hunter Biden, who has become infamous for international entanglements and questionable overseas business deals, was among the guests at his father’s first state dinner Thursday night, a fete for the president of France.
He was accompanied by his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden. Hunter Biden is under federal investigation for possible tax violations, and his business dealings soon will receive extra scrutiny from House Republicans when they take over the chamber’s majority in January.
The president’s daughter, Ashley, also joined the family for the event.
Also on the guest list were former Rep. Joe Scarborough and his wife, Mika Brzezinski, hosts of the liberal MSNBC show “Morning Joe.”
David Saslaw, head of CNN parent Warner Bros. Discovery, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour were among the list of media moguls expected to attend.
Big Tech also made a showing, with Apple CEO Tim Cook dining at the White House. Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, also attended.
Among the celebrities attending was Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who starred in the TV show “Veep,” a role that President Biden played for eight years under President Obama.
Other Hollywood luminaries attending include producer and director Baz Luhrmann — who came with Ms. Wintour — actress Jennifer Garner and Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Political commentator and comedian Stephen Colbert also was on the list.
Several musicians were invited, including John Legend and wife Chrissy Tiegen, though not to outshine singer-songwriter John Batiste, who will serenade guests with his music inspired by French and American cultural influences he acquired in his upbringing in New Orleans.
Top congressional Republicans were also on the guest list. They include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, whose troops are soon to be investigating Hunter Biden. Mr. McCarthy brought his mother, Roberta.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana also attended, as did Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and wife, Kimberley, and Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, who brought wife, Vicki. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also attended.
Mr. Biden’s first official state visit honoring French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte began earlier Thursday with a red carpet arrival ceremony on the South Lawn lined with hundreds of Francophiles waving French and American flags.
The arrival preceded an hours-long Oval Office meeting between the two leaders and visits by Mr. Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris to the State Department.
The Biden administration has billed the official visit as a symbol of the strong ties between the U.S. and its oldest ally and a chance for the two countries to align closely on global issues such as climate change, the war in Ukraine and competition with China.
Mrs. Biden said in a preview of the evening festivities that the state dinner will represent “an expression of welcome and friendship.”
The menu includes butter-poached Maine lobster and a selection of award-winning American cheeses among other delicacies, “inspired by the shared colors of our flags — red, white and blue — and our common values: liberty and democracy, equality and fellowship,” Mrs. Biden said.
“These form the bedrock upon which our enduring friendship was built,” the first lady added.