White House gatecrashers met Obama: reports



WASHINGTON - The two aspiring reality TV stars who gatecrashed a White House state dinner this week reportedly met President Barack Obama at the event, while the US Secret Service issued Friday an unusual mea culpa for the security lapse.
The allegedly uninvited couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, met Obama in a reception line at the event, a White House official told CNN.



White House gatecrashers met Obama: reports
The president meanwhile ordered a full review of the incident, according to the Politico news website, citing an Obama aide.
An internal Secret Service investigation is ongoing.
The pair beat several layers of security to attend the White House State Dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late Tuesday.
United States Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan acknowledged Friday that, according to their agency probe, agents had not followed protocols at a security checkpoint to verify if the couple was invited.
"The Secret Service is deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the State Dinner," Sullivan said in a statement.
The Salahis boasted of turning up at the A-list event on their joint Facebook page with the message "honored to be at the White House for the state dinner in honor of India with President Obama and our First Lady!"
Sporting a black dinner jacket and a flowing red and gold sari respectively, the couple posted photos posing with Vice President Joe Biden, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel -- whom they mistakenly identified as "Ron Emanuel" -- and even three uniformed marines.
"Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours," Sullivan said.
The security breach could not have come during a more embarrassing occasion for the Secret Service than the dinner attended by 300 high-profile guests -- including Obama cabinet members, diplomats and Hollywood celebrities -- a major event in Washington's social calendar.
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Saturday, November 28th 2009
AFP
           


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