CBSN

Trump speaks at shamrock bowl presentation, with Irish prime minister in town

Last Updated Mar 15, 2018 6:47 PM EDT

President Trump is letting his St. Patrick's Day celebration with the Irish prime minister stretch out, speaking at a Shamrock Bowl presentation in the White House East Room Thursday night. 

"This is definitely an Irish group, there's no doubt about it," the president said, facing a couple hundred American and Irish guests. 

Mr. Trump pointed out that Vice President Mike Pence in the crowd — and his wife Karen Pence — are of Irish descent. 

"I knew I liked them for a reason," he said, to laughs.

The president said 10 percent of Americans can trace their heritage back to Ireland. At a St. Patrick's Day lunch at the Capitol earlier in the day, Mr. Trump, who says he doesn't drink, imbibed water, while others enjoyed beer and wine. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan raised a Guinness in his hand. 

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar thanked the president for celebrating Irish heritage, saying there are more people celebrating St. Patrick's Day in America than anywhere else in the world.