TPM News

A White House official tells TPM that Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who were not invited to last week's state dinner, managed to get some face time with President Obama.

The official said the couple met Obama in the receiving line at the dinner Tuesday.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the administration requested the Secret Service do a full review, and also praised agents for their work protecting the president:

"The men and women of the Secret Service put their lives on the line everyday to protect us, they are heroes and they have the full confidence of the President of United States. The White House asked the United States Secret Service to do a full review and they are doing that. The United States Secret Service said they made a mistake and they are taking action to identify exactly what happened and they will take the appropriate measures pending the results of their investigation."

Michaele and Tareq Salahi had attended events through the Indian embassy, and today speculated as to whether the couple's ties to the embassy had something to do with how they ended up at the state dinner

Embassy spokesman Rahul Chhabra strongly denied that possibility.

"Neither the embassy nor anyone from the embassy was involved in any way in their getting into the White House. Nor did we request any invitation for them," Chhabra told TPM today.

For all the consternation about how two uninvited reality show hopefuls were able to crash a state dinner at the White House, much remains unknown about who the husband and wife glitterati wannabes actually are.

TPM has been digging, and on close examination Michaele and Tareq Salahi have been moving in high end social and political circles for quite some time.

The White House is just the creme de la creme of the hot spots they've hit - the Salahis have attended receptions at the Executive Mansion in Virginia, big-dollar dinners for Congressional leadership and appear grinning next to top politicians and celebrities in dozens of photos on the Internet.

Read More →

The director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, just released a statement on the couple who got into the White House state dinner this week without an invitation. Here is the full text:

On Friday, November 27, 2009, United States Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan issued the following statement:

"The Secret Service is deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the State Dinner on Tuesday, November 24.

The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.

Read More →

Tiger Woods has been seriously injured in a car accident near his home in Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Woods, 33, pulled out of his driveway around 2:25 a.m. this morning, hit a fire hydrant, and then drove into a tree on his neighbor's property.

The Florida Highway Patrol reportedly said the airbags in Woods' Cadillac Escalade did not deploy -- meaning he was traveling below 33 miles per hour.

Read More →

The Secret Service is investigating how a fame-seeking couple crashed President Obama's first state dinner Tuesday night, gliding in past security with no invitation and taking photos with Vice President Biden and others.

"First and foremost, we have to find out what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again," Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin told TPM. "I think our procedures were good. We had a suitable amount of personnel. [But] our personnel didn't follow the procedure."

Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who are trying to get on the Bravo reality show "Real Housewives of Washington," were not on the guest list to the official event, but somehow made it past a gauntlet of security checkpoints.

Read More →