Tuesday, December 1, 2009

White House Crashers Speak!

They came, they saw, they outraged – by breaching White House security and attending the Obamas' Nov. 24 State Dinner, to which they had not been invited – and now Michaele and Tareq Salahi are telling their story. And they say it's about "to take a dramatic turn."

"We can tell you, we did not party-crash the White House," Tareq Salahi said at the top of Tuesday morning's Today show.

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In response to host Matt Lauer's questions, Tareq repeatedly answered that he and Michaele are co-operating with the internal review being conducted by the Secret Service. "We're proud to be working with them," said Tareq, who also stated that he and his wife would be "completely exonerated. The truth will soon come out."

But there are those who think the truth will not work to the couple's advantage, and NBC News reports that the Salahis could be charged with misdemeanor trespassing to discourage others from following their example.

"This was not a misunderstanding. You don't show up uninvited to the White House," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told Today. He further took issue with the Salahis' claim that their names appeared on the guest list for the dinner, which was in honor of the prime minister of India.

But Michaele took issue with what Gibbs – and others – had to say.

Insists They Were Invited

"We were invited. Not crashers. And there isn't anyone who would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that," she said. "The White House is the house, and no one would do that."

"Who invited you?" asked Lauer, to which Tareq once more reiterated that the couple is cooperating with the Secret Service.

The Salahis, who said they were not paid for the Today interview, said that they have been mischaracterized in the press. "This has been the most devastating thing that's ever happened to us," he said. She said, "Our lives have been destroyed. Everything we worked for, Matt. For me, 44 years, just destroyed."

For Facebook

According to reports, evidence exists that the couple – he a polo and wine enthusiast, and she an aspiring reality star – had been planning their stunt for months, and Michaele had boasted about trying to get close to the Obamas on her Facebook page.

At last week's event, the pair breezed through metal detectors without sounding an alarm. They then managed to slip past security officers armed with the list of the 320 invited guests.

While the Salahis mingled during the cocktail hour, and separately posed with the president and vice-president (with the photographic evidence later posted on their Facebook page), they did not stay for the sit-down dinner.

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