November 30, 2009

Secret Service Agents Interview Intruders

Posted: 04:00 PM ET

By Matthew L. Walk and Eric Schmitt

From The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As part of a broadening inquiry into presidential security, Secret Service agents have interviewed the Virginia couple who sneaked into a White House state dinner last week, a senior federal official involved in the investigation said Sunday.

The interviews, which took place Friday and Saturday, were conducted in a neutral location, neither the home of the couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, nor the Secret Service’s downtown offices, the official said. He would not comment on the content of the interviews or their length.

The Secret Service is also examining its own procedures in light of the security lapse at the White House. The director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, testified in March before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Homeland Security that his agency was adapting to the Obama presidency, but he focused on how President Obama was likely to draw larger crowds than his predecessor.

Mr. Sullivan referred obliquely to Mr. Obama as the first African-American president, making note of the “historical significance of the election” as a reason the agency was especially concerned about providing appropriate security.

Exactly how the Salahis infiltrated Mr. Obama’s state dinner for the Indian prime minister continued to preoccupy the capital and the country on Sunday, with no substantive details emerging.

(Read more...)

Filed under: President Obama

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A. Smith, Oregon   November 30th, 2009 4:38 pm ET

Aren't you glad that you are not being grilled over the coals by the Secret Service?

If this couple plans on traveling overseas, they should consider that a report of their infiltration has been reposted on numerous criminal activity's databases and will likely turn up in various security sweeps and background checks.

Deb Welch   November 30th, 2009 6:14 pm ET

I hope Larry King and all other media personalities refuse to interview Michaele and Tareq Salahi at any price. We must stop rewarding bad behavior. What's happening to our sense of right and wrong? What example are we setting for our children ... including the balloon boy fiasco? Where does it stop?

Michaele and Tareq Salahi are money-grubbing, dishonest social climbers. Ignore them. End of story.

Lisa M.   November 30th, 2009 6:31 pm ET

I think these people should be charged with trespassing and whatever other charges can be brought against them. Who do they think they are!? Why do they think they were so special to be able to attend such an event. I hope the public ruins their chance at any type of reality show. This couple has already been proven a fraud. Lock them up! I have no interest seeing them on TV or in the media!

carol from florida   November 30th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

It scares me how close these jerks got to the!

Study in Canada   November 30th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

Of course they should not be charged.. who should be held responsible is the person(s) that allowed them entrance.

Richard in San Francisco   November 30th, 2009 10:26 pm ET

The attention that the media, including CNN, provide Michaele and Tareq Salahi is unwarranted. Stop covering this matter and focus on the critical matters of our country. Jobs, healthcare, education and future. The more air time you provide this matter..the more you perpetuate their stardom.

Richard in San Francis4co   November 30th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

The attention you provide to Michaele and Tareq Salahi only perpetuates their stardom....
CNN should focus on critical matters – Education, Healthcare, Jobs and ANYTHING beyond this charade the Salahi's have created.

Tim Ryan   November 30th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

Shame on the Secret Service and the White House. They can't figure out whether these people were invited? They should thank them for exposing a serious gap in security. Is this not incompetence? Lucky these people are not part of "the axis of evil".

kathleen   November 30th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

The Salahis are nothing more than publicity thrill seekers...There definitely needs to be charges against them for lying to and decieving Federal Agents...This will also give the message to other celebrity thrill-seeking crashers, and those others who could be a potential risk to the safety of the President and his family, that the White House is not to be messed with.

Catherine   November 30th, 2009 10:31 pm ET

I thought this story was amusing prior to watching the beginning of tonight's show. The "friends" who are speaking out on behalf of these "party crashers" are totally ridiculous! The one guy is selling his book and avoiding Larry's questions – the other two are also just looking for their 15 minutes of fame! There was no invitation and clearly they all knew it!

Greg C.   November 30th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

Hi Larry, I think they were not invited. It's a tough lesson for the Secret Service.

Tim Ryan   November 30th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Shame on the Secret Service and the White House. They can't figure out whether these people were invited? They should thank them for exposing a serious gap in security. Is this not incompetence?

Steve WI   November 30th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

Party Crashers: If it is for certain that if they did crash the White House Party without an invitation, they are publicity seekers. It seems pretty obvious from the way she handled herself on her entrance she was there for the publicity as she was ahead of her husband on every move she made. Maybe they are looking ahead to a future with the current administration. The best that press and TV could do to surpress this publicity stunt is to ignor it immediately without any further coverage. Who cares? Not the general public. But CNN does have to have something to put on nightly news!!

Connie Gamble   November 30th, 2009 10:52 pm ET

If this couple had been black, they would have been arrested shortly after the party, if they got throught the door.I'm sick of white americans thinking they are more previldge than anyone else. With all the death threats that President Obama is receiving, security should have been a number one concern, even after the party ;and, the lives of the Vice President, the leader of India and all other guest's lives where in jeapordy. Why aren't they under arrest now? Is it because they are white? For example the media wore Rev Wright out and nothing has been said about the SO CALLED pastor who indicated GOD told to kill OBAMA and his so called christian congregation stood up and damned near cheered him on; where was Russ Limbaugh or Bill O'Rielly these good doing media citzens? I am j ust appauled on how white america thinks in 21st century. Sure hope GOD ain't black. Don't give these media junkies any more press time, however, time they deserve. The should GET A JOB and quit trying to be famous!

george..   December 1st, 2009 1:32 am ET

the couple will appear on NBC Today show today Tuesday 12/2 @ 7 am w/Matt Lauer....interesting..did they dine @ white house? dance ? were there 2 place settings for them reserved ? too many ???s ...

Charlie M Brown   December 1st, 2009 2:58 am ET

Ref the couple that attended the President's State Dinner uninvited: I think they did us a needed service (my opinion) by showing how lax the Secret Service (SS) security apparatus apparently was for this function. Yes the couple should be held accountable for doing this. We should not be thinking of making an examble of them. Our emphasis should be on correcting what appears to be serious flaws in the Secret Service, & possibly other agencie(s) operations for protecting our elected leaders. A couple of TERRORISTS could have placed our Gov/Country in total disarray while possibly killing a Prime Minister of another country in the USA. I applaud the SS for their overall prior performance.

SS   December 1st, 2009 4:44 am ET

The two questions that NEED to be answered are these:

Why would the white house invite them?


What were their reasons for attending, if they were not invited?

Perhaps their friend with military experience suggested they see how far they could go before getting caught to see what kind of security this administration was probably mentioned, it's no big deal if you get caught what's the worse thing that could happen, you get turned away?

I think their friends know a lot more about what's going on than they appear to...

pam   December 1st, 2009 8:56 am ET

Love the dress...who made, designed the dress ?...

peter   December 1st, 2009 2:15 pm ET

she has a very LOW disturbing voice, must be a heavy smoker.

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