Barack Obama | News | Reality TV

Uninvited Couple Defies Security, Crashes White House State Dinner


The White House is under scrutiny for a security breach by two party crashers at Tuesday's state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister. Tareq and Michaele Salahi, two reality stars appearing in the forthcoming The Real Housewives of Washington, attended the dinner though they were uninvited, somehow making it through security before hobnobbing with guests. They displayed evidence of their attendance later on Facebook.

The Washington Post reports:Biden

"The Salahis, both in their 40s, showed up about halfway through the guest arrivals. A Marine announced their names, and the couple -- he in a tux, she in a striking red and gold lehenga (traditional Indian formalwear) -- swept pass reporters and photographers, stopping several times to pose for pictures. They then walked into the White House lower hallway, where they mingled with guests on the red carpet before heading up to the cocktail reception in the East Room. Later, they posted pictures that seem to chart their course through the night: Michaele posing with Marines outside near the White House doors, and with Katie Couric and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) inside the mansion. In the East Room, the Salahis both cozied up to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle. But the best was yet to come: Once inside the dinner tent, they got pictures that appeared to show them with ABC's Robin Roberts, Bollywood composer AR Rahman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel (identified as "Ron" in the couple's Facebook photo caption) and two with a grinning vice president. The photos end there -- no shots of the Salahis sitting at a table, their seatmates or the post-dinner entertainment."

Watch CNN's report on the breach, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "somehow somebody at the white house decided after they looked at their i.d. it was alright for them to go in."

    The "i.d." they looked at was their color. If a Black person or anyone who even looked slightly Middle Eastern had walked up, there would have been no story to report.

    Posted by: Q | Nov 26, 2009 10:30:24 AM

  2. Give me a break, Q. If they were well dressed for the occasion, they would have gotten in too. Especially if the lady were also dressed "in a striking red and gold lehenga".

    Posted by: R | Nov 26, 2009 10:42:08 AM

  3. Q. That is the dumbest theory I've heard in awhile and I frequently watch Glenn Beck's show.

    Posted by: Washington | Nov 26, 2009 10:49:40 AM

  4. The reality is these are fame whores who seriously over reached here - they should be scorned and shamed --- but being corrupt America they will be glorified by interviews for ratings for advertising dollars.

    My hope is they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and are at a minimum fined.

    Posted by: RJP3 | Nov 26, 2009 11:04:26 AM

  5. Campbell Brown:"I don't want to be an alarmist.." I can hear Jon Stewart's writers now. "Go ooooonn".

    How these two got in is going to cost someone a job, usually some poor low level idiot. It's hard to believe that they were not arrested on the spot. Just for being on a reality show should be a felony.

    I can't wait to hear what the brain children at Fox come up with.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 26, 2009 11:10:19 AM

  6. So let's get this, um, straight... Eight out gays and two out-and-out fame whores. Way to go, first State Dinner.

    Posted by: HW In SoCal | Nov 26, 2009 11:22:32 AM

  7. A possible felony they say . . . for lying about being on the guest list. I understand that. What I do not understand is a government that always prosecutes the lies of two average citizens, but overlooks the lies of a president of the United States.

    Let's see,these two people lie anout being on the guest list . . . what were the potential ramifications of that lie, what the actual repercussions of that lie?

    George Bush as the president of the United States tells a lie to justify an untoward act of aggression against the Iraqi people . . . what were the actual repercussions of that lie . . . the continued repercussions of that lie? Hundreds of thousands Iraqi citizens dead, thousands of Americans.

    We live in a country where a company can be too big to fail, where a person can be too big to be prosecuted when the reverse should be true.

    To him that is given much, much more should be required. George Bush and his administration should have been tried for so much more than a felony.

    Posted by: Ricco Blaine | Nov 26, 2009 11:22:40 AM

  8. She's a wannabe "real housewife" and they are getting just what they wanted with all of these stories being offered about them: FREE PUBLICITY.

    We have as much reality TV as we do these days because it is cheaper to produce than scripted television.

    I believe CHEAP is the operative word.

    Posted by: Jeff in NC | Nov 26, 2009 11:27:05 AM

  9. Well, it would be REALLY good for ratings if they were prosecuted and thrown in jail. Let's say.. 2 years? That would make me happy. I mean, haven't we all had enough of "reality show stars?"

    Posted by: Jasun mark | Nov 26, 2009 12:29:57 PM

  10. They will be glorified for as long as the brainless masses continue to watch any of the execrable "Real Housewives Of [insert destination here]", truly the most heinous TV serials on at the moment. Any bets as to how soon the Washington version exploits these two fame whores?

    Posted by: jeffreychrist | Nov 26, 2009 12:39:31 PM

  11. 'Let's see,these two people lie anout (sic) being on the guest list . . . what were the potential ramifications of that lie, what the actual repercussions of that lie?' RICCO BLAINE
    While I believe Bush, Cheney and all the neocons should be prosecuted, that does not take away from these two publicity whores.

    The ramifications are that two people breached the secret service, which is a felony, and although they passed the metal detectors, it would be easy enough to sneak in poison or use a knife at a dinner table to assault anyone there.

    Lets hope they are in jail soon and not on Bravo. I for one just told them so.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 26, 2009 12:40:13 PM

  12. Yes, Patrick NYC . . . I can totally see how a breach of security pales in comparison to the betrayal of the confidence and trust of an entire nation of American citizens and the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

    Posted by: Ricco Blaine | Nov 26, 2009 12:58:09 PM

  13. THESE are the douchebags who should be waterboarded! And that guy on bravo andy cohen, spare us from his unwatchable show that makes even the gayest amongst us want to gay bash.

    Seriously, this will embolden wackos with motives that aren't as harmless as publicity. They too might want publicity and to be near the president. They should be punished to set an example.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 26, 2009 1:23:51 PM

  14. RICCO BLAINE it is clear that you are right and I'm wrong. That these two publicity whores did break the law, as I pointed out it is a felony. They showed a weakness in our security. One has nothing to do with the other.

    This breach has nothing to do with what crimes Bush committed, and if you did not read my post, I agreed with you that he did. That has nothing to do with what happened this week at the White House.

    The fact is the congress and Obama did not want to go after Bush and his corrupt White House. This to me is just one more disappointment with the Democrats in power now. But you can not get over the fact that Bush is going to get away with it, that sir is your problem, not mine.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 26, 2009 1:25:34 PM

  15. With all the death threats that President Obama has received as the first African American President it boggles my mind seeing that these two losers got into the party. One person shouldn't lose his/her job. Many people should. How hard is it to look up a person's name on a list and verify if they were actually invited. I worked at MTV for years and it was near impossible to get into their holiday party even as an employee. Maybe the White House needs to hire some ext MTVers for event planning.

    Posted by: Joel | Nov 26, 2009 1:33:57 PM

  16. Patrick NYC, I read your post, but it is not clear that I am wrong and you right. I think we both agree that what this couple did was wrong, and should be prosecuted also that what the Bush administration did was wrong.

    I could get over that Bush is going to get away with his crimes, just as I can get over that the police also get away with committing crimes because they are police . . orr I could make it my problem, the rampan and gross inequities in our country, keep speaking out, reminding people of these inequities, and maybe, just maybe people will be as outraged and work toward change.

    I was only saying that a felony does not compare to crimes against humanity. I do hope that this couple is prosecuted . . . just to get on the same page with you.

    Posted by: Ricco Blaine | Nov 26, 2009 1:42:34 PM

  17. I'm a little shocked, but, not all surprised that anyone would doubt that what "Q" said is true.

    No way would this have happened if they had been Black or Middle Eastern in appearance.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 26, 2009 2:55:54 PM

  18. @Derek: in 99 percent of cases I would agree with you, but at a state dinner for the Indian PM that might not be the case. No I am NOT saying that black or Middle Eastern people look even vaguely Indian...but to the people staffing security, they might.

    Which is why we need bigger government! We need the top officials staffing the security lines! No more lower-level intern minions or military personnel on loan!

    My point, if I had one, is that any elegantly dressed attractive couple who knew what to say and was persistent probably could have made it in. Imagine if it had been an invited Indian or African-American couple and they were turned away. It would be a much bigger story.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 26, 2009 3:19:00 PM

  19. I'm with Tank. What if one of them had malice in their heart? What if the man were strong enough to just reach out and snap the VP's neck?

    This is outrageous. I can't believe Al-Queda, who spends 24/7/365 thinking of ways to kill the President, couldn't think of this themselves. I'm sure they are now.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Nov 26, 2009 4:05:41 PM

  20. @Paul, ur right it would have been a bigger story that way. Let me relate a story:

    Years ago , I got hired at Barneys and during our training session, the white female head of security said," I will fire anyone I think is following around Black male hip hoppers while white women are in the store. While you're spying on them, white women are robbing us blind. Black males know they're being scrutinized, they rarely attempt anything in Beverly Hills because they already know they are suspects the moment they walk in."

    My point is that, much like Tim McVeigh, that white couple could have been a couple of assasins, one of them in a stunning red dress.

    The high standards of security for the POTUS MUST be applied equally to all.

    Do you realize how many Muslim extremists or ultra racists could pass for nice , normal white people? If Obama had been killed, we would be writing on our laptops with the smell of smoke and the death of America in our nostrils right now.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 26, 2009 4:14:06 PM

  21. I think they should be send to jail. they lied to federal officers... breached security... and this could have had DANGEROUS repercussions. Put them in JAIL.

    Posted by: Drew | Nov 26, 2009 5:38:17 PM

  22. Q!

    Listen to the Towleroad commenters! These guys don't see colour or race at all!!

    Seriously, these guys don't know what racism is.

    So like yeah. The thought that a bouncer to a lily white event with a president they think is a n*gga anti-christ and with only 3% of ethnics in govt, would EVAH be racist??

    Yeah Please.

    The world sees no colour. America see's no colour. Blacks are seen as rich and entrepreneurial. There is no such things as ghettos and please, don't believe the hype.

    Posted by: Rowan | Nov 26, 2009 6:20:43 PM

  23. The racial soap boxin' is a distraction to the real issue here. These people exposed lapses and blindspots in white house security. However, they've also invited a threat to the white house that impacts not just the president, but all whitehouse staff and personnel. Their punishment should be proportional to that threat, and its potential. In other words, don't pass go, and don't collect $200.00.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 26, 2009 6:50:36 PM

  24. Rowan, I ain't payin' these fools no mind. The damn truth hurts. If these assholes were not on the list, then why would they be waved through such a high security detail...with SEVERAL checkpoints? And "R," this wasn't a gotdamn prom! If you really think that anyone with a "striking red dress" could have pulled this off, then you are beyond naive. Bottom line, they looked "right" and were waved through. And their clothes had little, if anything to do with it.

    I seriously hope that heads will roll and that these two clowns get full jail time.

    Posted by: Q | Nov 26, 2009 7:39:13 PM

  25. Q it's shocking but I've being in so many situations on the phone when buying something or trying to rent and because I speak a certain way, they don't even think I'm anything but white and so they've said stuff like 'well, we got rid of the blacks because they were bringing the price down but don't worry about that.....'

    Sigh. But good! People are so dumb. Because I sound a certain way....

    @ TANK


    The stupidity because these people LOOKED like that??

    What if they were black? Or they looked iranian? Or mexican? Or...not so showy and white/blonde?

    Yeah. They would've been all over the place. Strangers. But when you look a certain way and act a certain way..

    I mean dudes-did ya'll not learn anything from the Bernie Maddoff situation?? Why did everyone believe him?

    Why do we believe who we do?

    Preconceptions...judgements...they make the worled go round and is why Bush's 'axis of evil' made Cheney and Rumsfeld so rich.

    The enemy.

    THEM against US.

    Posted by: Rowan | Nov 26, 2009 7:50:52 PM

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