December 10, 2009
Posted: 08:13 AM ET
By Xuan Thai, CNN White House producer
I confess, I've met Tareq and Michaele Salahi.
I met them a number of years ago. Yes, at a Washington party - I don't think they were crashing that time, as they've been accused of crashing a White House state dinner in November.
Then it was a reception for a well-known Italian designer-type, one in which people put on the one item they own by that label, one that I'm a little embarrassed to admit to have attended.
At first, they seemed like a normal couple, but minutes into our conversation it became clear to me that there was something a little different about the pair.
At the time, there were no reports of Michaele's alleged misrepresentation of being a former Washington Redskins cheerleader, no cameras following them around as they tried out for a reality TV show, no questions about their charitable organization or other claims that have come to light.
But even then, something seemed odd - they addressed me like they'd known me for years and that I would want to hear about the legal woes they were having with Tareq's mother. They dropped names, such as basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, the fabulous events they went to, the incredible things they did.
I knew or thought they were interested in talking to me for only one reason: I'd just told them I worked in television news.
Needless to say, they left a lasting first impression.
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