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December 2009


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The Salahis Speak Out and Things Only Get More Confusing

Sahalis on the Today ShowBy Allan Lengel

The White House “CrashGate” scandal became all the more confusing after the Tareq and Michaele Salahi appeared on NBC’s  Today Show Tuesday morning and insisted they were invited to the party.

“We were invited, not crashers,” Michaele Salahi said. (see video below)

Appearing more the victims than the pranksters they’ve been portrayed as, the Salahis of suburban Washington said they were cooperating with Secret Service, and when it was appropriate, they would be able to prove they were invited and would be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

“We’re greatly saddened by all the circumstances … portraying my wife and I as party crashers. I can tell you we did not party-crash the White House,” Salahi said.

But the White House wasn’t buying their story and insisted there was no invite.

“This wasn’t a misunderstanding,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on the same show. “You don’t show up at the White House as a misunderstanding.”

The back and forth came after news reports only raised more questions about their attendance.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the couple exchanged emails with Michaele S. Jones, special assistant to the secretary of defense and the Pentagon-based liaison to the White House, to try and get access to the state dinner.

The paper reported that several people familiar with the Jones-Salahi correspondence said the emails supported Salahis’ claim that they “they were cleared to attend Tuesday night’s gala.”

“There was e-mail correspondence confirming they were legitimately supposed to be there,” Casey Margenau, a close friend of the couple told the Post. “They understood they were invited.”

Then came the White House response yesterday as reported by the Post.

“I did not state at any time, or imply that I had tickets for ANY portion of the evening’s events,” Jones said in a statement released by the White House late Monday. “I specifically stated that they did not have tickets and in fact that I did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening’s activities. Even though I informed them of this, they still decided to come.”

Meanwhile, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said late Monday that the investigation was “still ongoing. That’s basically it. We need to find out what happened, why it happened and how it happened.”

Authorities were still trying to figure out what if any charges might be filed against the Salahis. Some charges mentioned include trespassing, which would be a misdemeanor, and lying to a federal officer, which would be a felony.

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Time December 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm

[…] The cable TV channel Bravo asked the caucus for permission to bring cameras into the event because they were evaluating potential cast members for the reality TV show “The Real Housewives of D.C.,” which Michaele Salahi has been trying …The Salahis Speak Out and Things Only Get More Confusing | Tickle … […]

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