First White House official testifies about gatecrashing Salahis

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Washington, Jan. 16 (ANI): The first White House official has testified before the federal grand jury, investigating the gatecrashing incident at the first state dinner of the Obama era, held in honour of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Politico quoted a spokesman as saying that White House usher Rear Adm. Stephen Rochon has given testimony about "his interactions with the Salahis at the state dinner."

The White House has said that Tareq and Michaele Salahi attended the Nov. 24 state dinner without an invitation.

"We can't comment further on the ongoing criminal investigation, except to say that we are cooperating fully," said White House spokesman Nick Shapiro.

According to reports, the jury was told that the Salahis demanded to be allowed to leave the event before the sit-down portion of the evening.

The Salahis caused a scene by claiming they had a medical emergency at home.

The couple allegedly turned to Rochon for help leaving the White House early.

According to sources, it would have been difficult to continue a charade into the sit-down dinner because there likely would not have been a place card at a seat for any uninvited guests.

Shapiro emphasized that Rochon offered his account of the evening voluntarily.

"Nobody in the White House was subpoenaed. Upon request, Adm. Rochon voluntarily agreed to testify about his interactions with the Salahis at the state dinner," Shapiro said.

The White House usher's job is to oversee the official residence staff and coordinate with the social secretary during ceremonial events. (ANI)

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