The First Draft: White House “gate-crashers” say they’re suffering

December 1, 2009

They passed through layers of White House security to attend a lavish state dinner, got themselves photographed with the president and vice president and posted pix on Facebook. 
 OBAMA-DINNER/SECURITY   
It was supposed to be an experience to last a lifetime. But now, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple at the center of one of the most embarrassing White House security breaches of all time, say their lives have been destroyed by falsehood and gossip.
    
“Devastated. Shocked,” is how beautiful, blond, former NFL cheerleader Michaele recalls her reaction to the morning-after headlines in an interview with NBC’s Today show. And Tareq? “Very saddened,” he says.
    
According to the White House, the Salahis were not on the invitation list. But they insist they were invited and predict that e-mails now in the hands of the Secret Service will exonerate them in the end. 
     OBAMA-DINNER/SECURITY
In the meantime, their lives are a one-syllable word for perdition.
    
Tareq: “Our lives have really been destroyed.” 
    
Michaele: “Everything we’ve worked for — for me, 44 years — destroyed.”
    
The U.S. media have made the Salahis out to be self-promoting social climbers who crashed the White House dinner while Michaele was auditioning for a new reality TV show called “The Real Housewives of Washington.” There have even been reports they tried to cash in on their exploits by demanding big bucks in exchange for media interviews.
    
A camera crew from the cable-TV channel, Bravo, did follow them to the edge of the White House grounds on the night of the dinner. But the bit about paid interviews is dead wrong, says Michaele: “At no time … have we ever even talked about doing that with anyone.”
    
Whether the Salahis are charged depends on a Secret Service probe to figure out just what happened. The Salahis tell NBC they hope to clear their name by sharing those e-mails as soon as the Secret Service says they can. When might that be? “We hope within the next several days,” Tareq says. 

Photo Credits: Reuters/Ho New (the Salahis and Obama); Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (the Salahis)

4 comments

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Well, they shouldn’t have done what they did in the first place. They had no right to put the President,his family, and guests at risk. It is their own fault for how they are now feeling about their actions. A little remorse, maybe?

They just don’t seem very believable. From what’s been said about them by people who know them, they sound like fame seekers just like Balloon Boy’s parents. They got the fame they were looking for, just not the type they wanted.

This is balloon boy all over, reality wannabes playing the victim when it blows up… but in the end they will get what they want, popularity. I hope they go to jail.

Posted by Score | Report as abusive

She’s not a former NFL cheerleader, various media outlets have already exposed that she lied about that as well, just like they’re lying about all these other things.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

[...] As we come upon another holiday season.  Let us sit back and reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves.  Those who truly are suffering.  No, not residents of war-torn cities.  No not the malnourished, the unemployed, the homeless, the scorned, the depraved.  No not any of them.  The ones who are truly suffering tonight are Michaele and Tareq Salahi.  [...]