Gatecrashing Salahis exchanged e-mails with Robert Gates' assistant before gala

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Washington, Dec. 1 (ANI): The gatecrashing Salahis had exchanged e-mails with Michele S. Jones, a special assistant to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, to get entry to the first state dinner of the Obama era held in honour of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

"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.

The Washington Post quoted sources in the gatecrashing inquiry panel, as saying that the e-mails exchanged between the couple and Jones do not contradict that version of events.

Jones, in her emails, assured aspiring reality TV stars - Michaele and Tareq Salahi that she was trying to score an official invitation, complete with seats at the dinner, for the couple.

By the time they arrived in line, the couple believed that Jones had succeeded in getting them approved only for the cocktail reception and a handshake with the president, sources said.

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."

Asked how she knows the Salahis and why she would have tried to get them into the White House, Jones said: "I am not going to say anything at this point at all. In fact, I am going to terminate the call right now because I am not sure what in the world is going on here."

A White House aide added that Jones had no authority to grant such access in the first place. (ANI)

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