State Dinner Crasher Emails Show Confusion Maybe, But no Invitation

December 2, 2009

(ChattahBox)— The now infamous White House party crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, released a series of emails through their attorney today, purporting to show that they were invited to the state dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India. The emails certainly depict two people who were making full use of all of their contacts to snag an invite to President Obama’s first state dinner. But the email exchanges between Michele Jones, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and the office manager with the Gardner Law Group do not show that the Salahis had secured an invitation to the state dinner.

The couple admitted in the emails that they appeared at the White House on the evening of the dinner, knowing that they may not be admitted. What happened after that is still unknown. Could the Salahis have been confused over the friendly exchanges with Jones, believing that they were cleared to enter the White House? Maybe, but unlikely.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that there should have been no confusion over the matter. “This wasn’t a misunderstanding,” the spokesman said. “You don’t show up at the White House as a misunderstanding.” But Michaele Salahi, 44, who has been promoting herself for a spot on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of DC, sees things differently. A Bravo camera crew even accompanied the couple to the White House gate.

“We were invited, not crashers, and there isn’t anyone who would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that. No one would do that, and certainly not us,” said Michaele Salahi while appearing on the Today show.

What is clear is that Tareq Salahi, 41, was using his position as the United States Team Captain for America’s Polo Cup. And in his email exchanges with Jones, he touted the upcoming “India vs. USA — World Cup 2010,” an event to be hosted in Washington, D.C., next June. In one email he even provided Jones with links to newspaper accounts of the polo match.

Jones informed the couple that the state dinner was closed, but she might be able to clear them for the outdoor arrival ceremony:

“Hopefully I can get tickets for the Arrival Ceremony,” Jones wrote to Tareq Salahi on Nov. 20. “The State Dinner is completely closed and has been for awhile. As soon as I know, I will contact you.”

And before that exchange, Jones had contacted the Gardner Law Group asking for the couple’s social security numbers, date of birth and citizenship. “Thank you!!!” Salahi wrote after being asked to provide information for the security check. “We are really looking forward to it.”

At that point, it appeared that the couple would be allowed to attend the outdoor arrival ceremony only. But then the situation becomes murky, when the outdoor arrival ceremony was moved indoors due to rain.

“The arrival ceremony (was scheduled to be outdoors) was canceled due to inclement weather,” Jones e-mailed at 8:46 a.m. that day. “They are having a very small one inside the WH very limited space. I am still working on tickets for tonight’s dinner. I will call or e-mail as soon as I get word one way or another,” wrote Jones.

Tareq Salahi dashed off another email to Jones, helpfully informing her that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his wife and two other couples would not be attending the state dinner, cheekily suggesting that he could take their spots. There doesn’t seem to be a response from Jones.

Based on the last email from Jones promising the couple she would contact them if she was able to get them access to the state dinner, the Salahis showed up at the White House seeking entry to the state dinner, without an invitation.

Jones left a voice mail on Tareq Salahi’s phone telling him that she was sorry, but no tickets were available for the state dinner. The couple claims that their cell phone battery was dead, and they didn’t receive the message from Jones, until they had already left the White House and were on their way home.

And the Salahis responded by email late that evening:

“Hi Michele,

You are an Angel!

My cell phone battery died early this evening while we were in DC from our country home, so I just got your message now after driving back out. But obviously it worked out at the end. … We ended up going to the gate to check in at 6:30 p.m. to just check, in case it got approved since we didn’t know, and our name was indeed on the list! 🙂 We are very grateful, and God Bless you.

We just got home, and we had a very wonderful evening as you can imagine!

Look forward to seeing you very soon. Say when for dinner — we can’t wait to see you and catch up and share memories of true lifetime.

With Love,

Tareq & Michaele Salahi”

Jones replied back at 1:38 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25:


You are most welcome! I here [sic] the smile in your e-mail and am delighted that you and Michaele had a wonderful time. 🙂

Have an extraordinary Thanksgiving and many blessings to you both!”

When asked to explain Jones’ friendly tone, “the White House said Jones responded with warmth to be polite, noting she assumed the couple must have obtained tickets in some other way.”

So, there you have it. The Salahis showed up at the White House gate and somehow wormed their way inside, but they did not have an invitation to the dinner.

Now, the big question is, how did they make it through three Secret Service checkpoints? According to the Salahis, their names were “on the list.” What list were they on? The couple claim that they showed their passports to three Secret Service agents, who compared the Salahis’ IDs against their own records.

After the security checks, the Salahis were allowed to enter the party and hobnob with the Washington DC political elite and have their photos taken with the president and vice president.

Are the Salahis guilty of a crime or just bad manners? If they lied to any Secret Service officials, they may be charged with a crime. If not, they will go down in history, as the gauchest couple in recent memory.

And as a result, security procedures will be tightened at the White House for future events, which is a good thing. The Congressional Homeland Security Commmitte plans to conduct an investigation into the Secret Service security lapse on Thursday.


The emails can be found here.


4 Responses to “State Dinner Crasher Emails Show Confusion Maybe, But no Invitation”

  1. About tareq salahi, white house party crashers michaele, couple, dinner crashers | Find me About on December 2nd, 2009 7:08 pm

    […] (ChattahBox)— The now infamous White House party crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, released a series of emails through their attorney today, purporting to show that they were invited to the state dinner honoring the Prime Minister of India. …Read Original Story: State Dinner Crasher Emails Show Confusion Maybe, But no Invitation – Cha… […]

  2. Dee Johnson on December 3rd, 2009 12:09 am

    I am sick and tired of President Obama and the First Family being disrespected by Americans. If you can’t respect our President and the First Family, you should at least respect the Office in which he holds! These people crashed the White House, and the entire nation should be outraged. Further, the Prime Minister of India was a guest in our country and at the White House, and how do you think that makes us look. What they did was very disrespectful to the President, The Prime Minister, India and its citizens, and it just made Americans look that much more mediocre than we already do around the globe. What these people did should be deemed a criminal act and they should be punished accordingly, so that no one else would ever think of doing this again in the future. We can blame the Secret Service, the White House staff and anyone else you choose. But at the end of the day, they should bear the ultimate burden for their actions. They can put whatever spin they want on what they did, but the bottom line is that they crashed the White House, which should be considered a criminal violation! I am sick and tired of our President, the First Lady, their children and the Office in which President Obama holds being disrespected day in and day out by Americans. The disrespect they have been receiving is highly unwarranted. It is hard to fathom why the Bush Administration, given all of their bad deeds and acts, would receive more respect than President Obama, who is working hard to fix the problems he has inherited from the last administration. We finally have a President and First Lady who has served this nation with so much compassion, care and servitude. I just don’t understand why so many Americans have been so mean and nasty towards this Administration. It’s just not right. If Bravo casts these people in the Housewives show, I will work hard to boycott Bravo! The crashed the White House for self-serving, monetary reasons. They broke the law and should be punished expeditiously and accordingly. WHAT THEY DID IS AWFUL!!!

  3. White House Accepts Some Blame in Gate-Crashing, Changes Policies | ChattahBox News Blog on December 3rd, 2009 1:07 pm

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