November 26, 2009
This is truly hard to believe. An uninvited couple got past the Secret Service and crashed the State Dinner.
Worse – the SS didn’t even realize it until the couple posted photos on Facebook (below).
The Washington Post evidently saw the posted photos and emailed the couple to ask why they weren’t on the official guest list, which was released just hours before the event. Mr Salahi mentioned the America’s Polo Cup World Championships coming up June 2010. When pushed, he said “it was last-minute attending.”
No account of how the SS discovered it. The Post doesn’t say they contacted them.
*Washington Post’s “Reliable Sources” gossip columnist ROXANNE ROBERTS recognized the crashers immediately and knew they didn’t fit in but she didn’t take it one step further. Who would? Getting past Secret Service should theoretically be impossible, especially at a State Dinner. Those two strolled right in the front door (video).
TAREQ & MICHAELE SALAHI with Rahm Emanuel (they labeled him “Ron”)
Probabaly the only photo of VP Biden from the event.
Accompanying the photos:
Honored to be at the White House for the state dinner in honor of India with President Obama and our First Lady!
The Washington Post describes the couple as:
polo-playing socialites known for a bitter family feud over a Fauquier County winery and their possible roles in the forthcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington”.
Aka seeking publicity like balloon boy – except this could land them in jail. They had to lie to someone to get in because their names weren’t on the list.
Unclear how they got on the grounds but they strolled right in the front door of the WH (announced by a Marine), mingled in the lower lobby with folks around the red carpet, made their way up to the East Room for cocktails and then moseyed on out to the tent. They were never seated in the tent but they were in the same room as FLOTUS, POTUS and Prime Minister Singh. Unknown if any of them had direct contact.
And get this – there is no checkpoint to exit the WH grounds.
The crashers documented their own crime:
Michaele posed with: VP Biden, Katie Couric, Rep Ed Royce (R-CA) and the Marines posted at the door.
Both posed with: VP Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, Robin Roberts, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle, Bollywood composer AR Rahman and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
Secret Service Agent ED DONOVAN said in a statement that their:
Office of Professional Responsibility will be conducting a comprehensive review of the incident.
And that their preliminary investigation identified:
a Secret Service checkpoint which did not follow proper procedure to ensure these two individuals were on the invited guest list.
He also made sure to include:
Everyone who enters the White House grounds goes through magnetometers and several other levels of screenings. That was the case with the state dinner last night. No one was under any risk or threat.
And if they were assassins they wouldn’t need anything but their hands.
Even though the SS is admitting the security breach, the spokeswoman for the crashers, Mahogany Jones was nonplussed:
The Salahis were honored to be a part of such a prestigious event…. They both had a wonderful time.
And that they had:
As of this writing, the crashers have not made a statement themselves.
The WH is conducting their own review.
Who do you think will be fired?
Michelle’s Social Secretary who is supposed to be standing there vetting folks?
Or one of her other two dozen attendants?
Or will some poor Marine get blamed?