Barack Obama | News | Reality TV

White House Party Crashers Met Obama, May Have Had Inside Help

Salahis

President Obama has ordered an investigation into how Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the White House state dinner Tuesday night despite not being on the guest list.

As this photo, via Mediaite, reveals, the Salahis did meet Obama on the receiving line.

The WSJ reports that Bravo was trailing the couple before the event. The Salahis are under consideration as cast members for The Real Housewives of D.C., but have not been officially confirmed, according to the netwok:

Half Yard Productions filmed the Salahis throughout the day Tuesday -- including an hours-long hair-and-makeup session at a Washington salon -- for Bravo.

The Salahis told producers they had been invited to the state dinner, and "the producers had no reason to believe otherwise," said Ms. Fuentes, the NBC Universal spokeswoman. The film crew captured the Salahis' preparation for the event and arrival but were not on the White House grounds.

One person familiar with the situation bristled at the notion that White House staff members could have somehow stopped the breach had they been there checking invitations. With hundreds of expected guests, no one person could have been expected to recognize all the arrivals, and at the end of the day, the Secret Service handles White House security.

Anita McBride, who was First Lady Laura Bush's chief of staff during the second Bush term, reserved her scorn for the Salahis. The first state dinner of the Obama administration was a diplomatic success, she said, but the party crashers have swallowed the attention -- by design.

"It's really infuriating that these people would use a diplomatic event like this for their own purposes," she said, ticking off a list of grievances from eight hours in a Georgetown salon to the Salahis' Facebook display to the camera crew that followed them to the gate. "What does that say about our society? It's depressing, really."

Bravo confirmed the couple was being trailed by a camera crew: "In a statement on Thursday, Bravo said Half Yard Productions, the producer for the series, had been under the impression that the Salahis, two polo-playing devotees of Washington’s social swirl and online social networks alike, had been invited to the dinner. The 'Housewives' cast 'has not been finalized,' Bravo said. 'Michaele Salahi is under consideration as a cast member; as such, Half Yard Productions were filming the Salahis on that day. Half Yard was only aware that per the Salahis they had been invited as guests.' A White House official, informed of Bravo’s statement, said that was not the case. 'We’ve already confirmed that they weren’t invited,' he said."

The Salahis may also have had help from inside: Gawker believes the Salahis received assistance getting in from Indian ambassador Arun K. Singh, with whom they play polo.

The Salahis are scheduled to appear on Larry King Live on Monday night.

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Comments

  1. I honestly think these two should get off with a slap on the wrist.
    I think the bigger question is: Who allowed them past one of many check points?
    If anything bad did happen, who would the finger be pointed at?
    I'm guessing this ties in with why my soap and shampoo are called into question when I fly.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Nov 27, 2009 7:51:21 PM


  2. Ah, the icing on the cake. Where's the balloon boy in the picture?

    Posted by: anon | Nov 27, 2009 9:24:06 PM


  3. There are literally tens of thousands of mouth-breathing teabaggers who think (thanks to Faux News) that the president is the anti-christ, Hitler and Staling rolled into one. The fact that these two narcissistic goons got this close when the place was crawling with the Secret Service worries me enormously.

    They should be prosecuted and the agents who waved them in should be seriously reprimanded, fired even. This is not a cute little story for a slow news days, this is horrifying.

    Posted by: elcamino | Nov 27, 2009 9:45:19 PM


  4. ELCAMINO

    I agree 100%. The fact that they are not in jail is beyond reason. Whatever your political feelings are, this is a breach on the safety of the President. If Bravo does hire them, we should all let them know how we feel, I have. Bravo.com.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 27, 2009 9:54:24 PM


  5. i totally agree with El Camino and Patrick on this one. the way Beck, Cheney and Limbaugh are riling up the wingnuts, ANYTHING could have happened. the President is already getting 400% more death threats than any other President, ever.you have Beck saying Obama has a deep seated hatred of white people, Cheney goes on radio and says Obama's policies are dangerous to the country, and Limbaugh, well it's something hateful multiple times a day, every day.

    i think the secret service should be at LK's studio tomorrow night and take 'em away in handcuffs ON AIR.

    and THEN we need to find out exactly how this happened and heads should roll all the way around.

    Posted by: casey | Nov 28, 2009 12:25:33 AM


  6. Agree with elcamino, patrick nyc and casey on this one 100%. Not only are these two quite obviously attention whores who ought to be prosecuted for their shenanigans. I am also seriously disturbed that ALL those who are supposed to be protecting our President (from the Secret Service on down) failed so miserably. And even if someone (like Indian ambassador Arun K. Singh) actually did have a hand in them gaining entrance it still doesn't excuse the fact that the White House says they were not invited guests and that they were able to get within a few feet of our President -- and if desired (and so inclined) could have attempted harm to him -- all in the name of those far-right wingnuts.

    Posted by: robertmalcolm | Nov 28, 2009 12:45:03 AM


  7. The crucial point is this: The Secret Service is charged with protecting the President, his immediate family and those in high office closest to him. It's obvious that they failed, not only in shielding the President and the First Lady from unknown danger, but the Vice President and his wife as well.

    If the Salahis are allowed to walk, what other similar breaches of security will be dismissed as inconsequential? These impostors must be prosecuted and jailed! Media whore excuses cannot immunize them from the fact that they hacked through the security firewalls and in so doing posed a plausible threat to the Obamas and the Bidens. And more than low-level Secret Security peons' heads should roll over this disgraceful episode.

    Posted by: Paul in Honolulu | Nov 28, 2009 2:47:47 AM


  8. I wouldn't be at all perturbed is these retards were detained as enemies of the state. Let them rot, and good riddance.

    Posted by: Jordan | Nov 28, 2009 4:47:16 AM


  9. As someone who knows how these things are done, there is no way the Deputy Chief of Mission (Singh) could have got anyone on the guestlist at the last minute. These guestlists are designed weeks ahead of time, with A reserves and B reserves and so on in case someone regrets (which, being the WH, hardly anyone ever does).

    What is possible however is that Singh had said to the Salahis something along the lines of "I'll see if we can get you on the list"- a very West Asian way of saying "not a chance". Knowing the Salahis, they are so insane they very likely heard this as "you're in, dress is black tie."

    Posted by: Clifw | Nov 28, 2009 10:03:45 AM


  10. It had to be an inside job. Certainly, the Salahi's had some form of clearance. You and I cannot simply walk into the White House and neither can the Salahi's.

    However, if I'm wrong, the Salahi's should be made an example of under the strictest penalty. If I were Obama, the Salahi's tragedy story would be a clear example to all: don't get it twisted - no one crashes my party!

    Posted by: thepulpit | Nov 28, 2009 10:34:41 AM


  11. This isn't a cute little story. This is a serious problem, and this isn't a simple "prank" by the Salahi's. A little jail time should scotch the next attempt. They can do Housewives from prison. As for the staff/Secret Service: are you f*ing kidding me? This is the White House we're talking about here. Nice security procedures. This would not have happened in the Bush White House. Prosecutions are in order here. Jesus, what if something horrible had happened? This is not cool.

    Posted by: John | Nov 28, 2009 3:57:48 PM


  12. The Salahis are scheduled to appear on Larry King Live on Monday night ...

    SHAME On CNN and LARRY KING ~!!!

    Posted by: RJP3 | Nov 28, 2009 4:15:28 PM


  13. 'The Salahis are scheduled to appear on Larry King Live on Monday night.'

    Wonderful, just fucking wonderful. They got what they wanted and now are more new chum.

    Posted by: deevee | Nov 28, 2009 4:23:32 PM


  14. Oh, so THIS is how one gets face time with the President. You have to crash a party. Great.

    Posted by: FILUP | Nov 28, 2009 6:18:29 PM


  15. Tell CNN how you feel. Posting here is good, telling them is better. Lambert was caned from ABC because 1,500 douche bags complained. Speak up people. abc.com. cnn.com.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Nov 28, 2009 8:22:11 PM


  16. I know I'll get a lot of sh*t for this, but it won't be the first time. I just think this whole thing is rather funny if only because it shows how television is making reality stranger and stranger every day. It's not like the Salahis didn't have to go through a metal detector. Sure, what they did was wrong and they should be punished accordingly, but in the end, nobody was hurt -- just embarrased and, hopefully, fired.

    Posted by: yogchick | Nov 28, 2009 8:40:46 PM


  17. I have never liked "reality" programming beyond an occasional talent contest, so all I have is an accusing finger wag for all of us who have fostered the climate that spawned these douche bags. I don't care if it's a public trial and sentancing, or a lifetime of "unrelated" government investigations that cripple their finances, audit their histories and force them to retain brigades of attorneys until they are stripped of their gilt veneer and are forced to face the darkness and vanity in their hearts. They will try to laugh it off and promote the harmlessness of their craven act. I hope we can convince them otherwise, before we feed them to the savage papparazo dogs.

    Posted by: Rikard | Nov 29, 2009 12:55:00 AM


  18. So the Secret Service has admitted that it was their error:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/27/secret-service-acknowledges-failure-in-state-dinner-snafu/

    They did not follow protocol at the initial checkpoint by confirming that they were on the guest list.

    Now, the question is WHY.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Nov 29, 2009 2:30:56 AM


  19. I hope these two fame craving whores do not make a cent from this outrageous stunt. I can't believe they did not get that far with out some sort of official invitation- if they did not have one the President better watch his back.

    Posted by: jaragon | Nov 29, 2009 8:53:00 PM


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