House Chairman Reads The Riot Act To Secret Service Director

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For the most part, members of the media have focused on the spectacle of pranksters crashing a state dinner at the White House. But this week, we may finally get some clarity on the substantive issue underneath the gag: namely: how, exactly, Michaele and Tareq Salahi manage to slip by the Secret Service?

In a difficult to parse, but harshly worded statement, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) laid into the bureaucrats who may have been at fault, and suggested dire ramifications if it turns out they were asleep on the job.

“The intent of this Administration may be openness and transparency, but a security breakdown that allowed anyone who looked the part to walk off the street into a State Dinner is a slap in the face to the Secret Service employees who put their lives on the line to protect our form of government and its leaders,” Thompson said.Thompson will hold a hearing this Thursday, and has invited Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, and the hoaxsters themselves, to testify. His office was not immediately available for comment.

The Secret Service has already copped to being “deeply concerned and embarrassed” by the incident. We may soon know why their faces are so red.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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