Gatecrashing Salahis called up by House Panel to explain their entry

Posted By: Staff
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London, Dec. 1 (ANI): The aspiring reality TV stars - Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who crashed their way to President Obama's first state dinner in honour of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, have been called up to Capitol Hill on Thursday along with the director of the Secret Service to explain how security was breached at the gala White House event.

The House Homeland Security Committee insists that the White House needs to provide answers on why nobody from the social secretary's office or liaison staff was at the party entrance to check guests, as has been the custom for state dinners.

"This is a time for answers. This is not the time for political games or scapegoating to distract our attention from the careful oversight we must apply to the Secret Service and its mission," The Washington Post quoted Rep. Bennie Thompson, Homeland Security panel chairman, as saying.

Earlier, it was revealed that Salahis had exchanged e-mails with Michele S. Jones, a special assistant to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, to get entry to the gala event.

"There was e-mail correspondence confirming they were legitimately supposed to be there. They understood they were invited," said Casey Margenau, a close friend of the couple.

Jones, in her emails, assured Salahis that she was trying to score an official invitation, complete with seats at the dinner, for the couple.

It was unclear how well the Salahis know Jones, but Jones includes the Salahis' lawyer, Paul W. Gardner, as one of her 50 friends on Facebook.

"I did not state at any time, or imply that I had tickets for any portion of the evening's events. I specifically stated that they did not have tickets," Jones said in a statement released by the White House.

"And in fact that I did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening's activities. Even though I informed them of this, they still decided to come." (ANI)

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