The First Draft: White House “gate crashers” to tell their own story

November 27, 2009

She’s blond and beautiful. He’s debonair. Together, with irresistible charm and a voracious appetite for self-promotion, they penetrated White House security to attend this week’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and got close enough to kiss Vice President Joe Biden.

That’s the current media image of Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who could be the world’s most celebrated gate crashers since the British comedian who attended Prince William’s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003 while dressed as Osama bin Laden in drag. OBAMA-DINNER/SECURITY
But is there more to the story?
The Salahis’ lawyer, Paul Gardner, suggests there is. “My clients were cleared, by the White House, to be there. More information is forthcoming,” he says in a statement published by the Washington Post.
The now-famous couple also plans to appear Monday on CNN’s Larry King Live.
Paul Wharton, a friend of the Salahis, tells ABC’s Good Morning America that the couple has had lots of contact lately with Indian officials and has spent a fair amount of time in India. Could that explain why they were at a dinner honoring the Indian PM? 
News accounts cast the Salahis as determined publicity seekers who posted their wedding on YouTube and boast an online photo gallery of themselves with loads of celebrities including Britain’s Prince Charles.
Michaele, a former Washington Redskins cheerleader, is being considered for cable TV channel Bravo‘s upcoming reality series, The Real Housewives of Washington. In fact, the Post reports that she spent seven hours at a posh salon, TV production crew in tow, getting ready for the big night.
The camera crew followed Michaele and Tareq to the White House but couldn’t get in. The Salahis did and wound up being snapped for photos with Biden and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. USA-GERMANY/
The Secret Service, which is charged with protecting President Barack Obama and other high-level officials, says the Salahis were not invited to the dinner. The agency is conducting a comprehensive review to get to the bottom of one of the most embarrassing security breaches in the history of White House dinners.
It’s not clear what could happen to the Salahis if they really did crash the party. But another friend of the couple, Casey Margenau, doesn’t sound too worried. “Whatever they do, they’ll land on their feet,” he tells ABC. “Promotion and parties are part of their life.”

Photo credits: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Michaele and Tareq Salahi); Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Biden)


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This whole episode!was nothing but a hoax designed deliberately as a diversion technique to sway the public’s attention from dire straits and the economic mess that (they)have been thrown into.The objective of the scheme is to make the American people talk and comment about this whole fabricated show for as long as possible!!!!

Posted by TUMBUCTOO | Report as abusive

So Thurston Howell the Third and Lovey crashed a fancy dress party. Big whoop. It’s not like they stood up in the middle of it and shouted, “Allahu akbar!”Democrats in congress will now make it a felony to impersonate an invited fancy dress party guest, maybe even add that to the roster of hate crimes, as in damn, hate to miss a good party paid for by the taxpayers.But they should wait until the secret service completes their investigation.Were there warning signs missed with these two?

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive

This couple should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Since when is housebreaking legal as long as you get away with it? If this is not treated as a criminal act, more copycat whackos amd publicity hounds will try it.

Posted by Maeve Meuser | Report as abusive

Their story is that they’re frauds who committed a crime by entering the White House without authorization plus they have numerous outstanding judgments against them for debts including unpaid taxes. They’re rather like Paris Hilton, being famous for being famous. No, TUMBOCTOO, this wasn’t some kind of diversion from the economic mess Obama is still cleaning up and likely will take quite a bit more time, so you can put away your conspiracy theories back under your tinfoil lined hat.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Oh, and if I wanted to put my own conspiracy theory spin on it I could say this was a test of White House security in light of the vastly more numerous death threats against this particular president from various right wing hate groups due to the color of his skin taking up so much more Secret Service time that would otherwise be spent on more important duties.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

This reminds me of a Seinfeld episode “The Calzone” where Gerry dates a beautiful woman who can get away with anything. Life imitates Art?

Posted by Elaine | Report as abusive

That’s right Maeve Meuser. Every time our civil servants display ineptitude or incompetence we can just lockup the citizens in their proximity and blame them. Besides, just because the President works for all citizens doesn’t mean we can just look in and see how he is doing whenever we want.Oops, I’m sorry. When you said couple did you mean the two Secret Service agents should be disciplined for dereliction of duty, or prosecuted for reckless endangerment?

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

I am amazed at the amount of time spent on all of the networks discussing the Virginia couple who crashed the White House State Dinner. I would like to hear more about the toast that were given by each countrie’s leader; what the leader of India thought about being invited, and other items of note at the dinner. The Virginia couple broke the rules. This should be noted and the report should be about the actual dinner, it’s purpose and the expected outcome. I would like to see the other guests who were present and not the “party crashers” aired over and over.

Posted by Dr. Lorraine K. Harris | Report as abusive

if they were black guess what…

Posted by ray | Report as abusive

Mr. & Mrs. Salahi are brazen narcissists and they’ve made the foolish media their tool. Those two are consummate USERS who believe everyone else is here to serve the Greater Glory of Michaela & Tareq. Their manipulative tactics have made White House officials and the Secret Service look like stooges. The Salahi’s simply can’t get over their own fabulousness and felt the time was ripe for us all to know it.

Posted by Veronica Speedwell | Report as abusive

More cultural and social Illiterates on parade. Nothing like denigrating the dignity of the Office by pandering to one’s own ego.

Posted by Andrew Franks | Report as abusive

I think this is a example of how the US media is so easily manipulated … they know that is US viewers is only interested in trivia …

Posted by ken | Report as abusive

Here are two publicity-seekers determined to hobnob with the rich and the famous. They succeeded in getting through White House security and managed to shake the hands of the Vice-President. But this episode raises very serious security considerations! al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would try and engineer such gatecrashes and the White House needs to get its act together. A stitch in time saves nine!

Posted by Pancha Chandra | Report as abusive

Conservatives have a tiny victory to celebrate this week, as a couple of gate crashers got past Secret Service and had their pictures taken with Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the White House.Just as liberals had their field day when dozens of photos of a smiling George Bush rubbing shoulders with Jack Abramoff got past Bush administration internet clean-up teams.And the dozens of after-hours and overnight visits to the Bush White House by male escort and fake journalist Jeff Gannon.If I had to choose which scandal I would rather be stuck with, I would take the harmless reality TV couple over a convicted felon or male internet escort any day. There is simply no comparison.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

This has nothing to do with conservatives or liberals.It was a security breech and every detail will be investigated so it never happens again. Unfortunately, “stuff” happens and it is concerning because it shows how vulnerable even our elected leaders are (whether we agree with their policy agenda or not).One thing is certain, the security policy in the White House will change, hopefully for the better.BTW, the secret service isn’t interested in whether the president is a liberal or conservative. Their only interest is to protect the president and his family. To make this issue political is actually quite disturbing.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I have to hand it to you, TC, you are right on this one. In fact, I am so impressed with your argument I have copied your whole post and submitted it to several right wing websites that are trying to make hay from this story. I hope it helps them to see the light. I have more respect for you after reading your post, I have to say.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

getplaning. Why worry about the right wing? You are as guilty as the people you want to reprimand.Just so you know, I am more concerned with security…However, part of me says this is all a sham (and I would say the same of any administration because security is more important than anything else in a situation like this if you take it at face value).But thanks for the compliment, I think.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

getplaning. One more thing. Make sure you post on the left wing sites (of which there are many you frequent) who espouse your view in your original post demonizing the right as worse than anything created.In your backhanded compliment, you just can’t help throwing in a dig to the right wingers. Well, you proved the left wing is just as political when you made this issue political.With much thought, I actually have less respect for you because of this.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Make examples of these two bimbos; prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive