December 1, 2009
Don't call us party crashers, couple says
Posted: 02:20 PM ET
by Brian Stelter via New York Times
They were not on the White House guest list, but Michaele and Tareq Salahi insist that they are not party crashers.
In their first televised interview since being accused of slipping past White House security and attending President Obama’s first state dinner a week ago, the aspiring reality TV stars said they were eager to explain what had happened — but that they would have to wait until a later interview to do so.
“We did not party crash the White House,” Mr. Salahi said on the “Today” show on NBC.
“There isn’t anyone that would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that,” Ms. Salahi added later.
But when Matt Lauer, a host of the show, asked “Who invited you?” the couple did not answer. Instead, Mr. Salahi said: “One of the things that we’re doing is we’re working closely with the Secret Service in their internal investigation. We’re respecting their timeline. We’re working on their timeline. We want to get through that process.”
Mr. Salahi added that they had “turned over documentation” to the Secret Service, which may have been a reference to e-mail messages between the couple and Michele S. Jones, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates who serves as a liaison to the White House.
The Salahis tried to obtain tickets to the state dinner through Ms. Jones. But in a statement released by the White House on Monday, Ms. Jones said she told the couple that she “did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening’s activities.”
Filed under: Obama White House
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