[I found the phrase “the truth will soon come out” very interesting and possibly quite fitting to what we may see in the upcoming days. Tony]
By ANNE SCHROEDER MULLINS | 12/1/09
Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who allegedly crashed the White House state dinner last week, sat down for an interview with the “Today” show Tuesday morning to tell their side of the story.
Micheale and Tareq insist they were invited to the State Dinner. “We were invited, not crashers. There isn’t anyone that would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that. The White House, it is the house and no one would do that and certainly not us,” said Michaele.
“I can tell you this has been the most devastating thing that has ever happened to us,” Tareq said. “We are greatly saddened by all the circumstances that have been involved…portraying my wife and I as party crashers.”
Tareq added, “We are cooperating extensively with the U.S. Secret Service on their internal review and investigation…we’re proud to be working with them, we have great respect for the U.S. Secret Service, we have great respect for the presidency and for President Obama. We’re going to continue to cooperate and the truth will soon come out.”
But the White House sees the truth differently. Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs told Today in a separate interview:
“I think if you ask the Salahis directly, they were not on the list here at the White House. Their name was not at a security tower in order to get into this secure complex and they had been told on a number of occasions that they did not have tickets for that dinner,” he said. “The president and the secret service are rightly concerned about how this happened. I think the matter should be looked into criminally,” Gibbs added. “We’ll do anything humanly possibly to make sure something like this never happens again,” he said. “This wasn’t a misunderstanding. You don’t show up at the White House as a misunderstanding.”
The Salahis, sitting in a remote location in Washington, explained the situation with limited details. They said they could not share more because they are working with the Secret Service’s internal investigation.
It’s been reported that the Salahis contacted a Pentagon official, Michele Jones, for help in attending the dinner. She has denied any wrongdoing, saying she told them she didn’t have the authority to help them get in the dinner.
Misdemeanor trespassing is the charge being considered for the couple, according to NBC.
The couple say they are “devastated” by the reaction of their alleged White House party crashing. Michaele said she’s “shocked” and “our side of the story and everything will be heard and right now it’s just been really unbearable to go through.”
Tareq told Lauer that they have been “mischaracterized through the media and other paparazzi forums.”
“Our home has been invaded, it’s been very sad,” he said. His wife added: “Our lives have been destroyed. Everything we’ve worked for, Matt, for me 44 years, just destroyed.”
When asked who invited them, Tareq demurred: “One of the things we’re doing, working very closely with the Secret Service….[we’re] respecting their timeline,” he said. “We want to get through that process…we’ve been very candid with them we’ve turned over documentation to them and will continue to work with the U.S. Secret Service completely, all the way through this process.”
When asked if their emails/documentation are open to interpretation, Tareq said, “No. In our view it’s clear to us and based on the timeline I think the American public is actually going to be extremely surprised with all the details that went from beginning to end into what was supposed to be a lovely beautiful evening…a lifetime memory.”
The couple also reportedly crashed another dinner — the Congressional Black Caucus dinner — where President Obama appeared. They deny this claim.
“Yes we were invited. This is the first time I’ve ever heard another false accusation against my wife and I, saying we weren’t invited there. We were invited there by the Gardner Law Group,” saying they were not escorted out as has been reported.
“Of course not, that’s another gossip rumor,” Tareq said. “That’s how this story got started, through a gossip column,” he added.
“I am certain we will be completely exonerated,” Tareq said.
Michaele has been considered for Bravo’s upcoming “Real Housewives of D.C.” It remains unclear if she’ll participate.
ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND HERE.
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