December 3rd, 2009
07:00 PM ET
8 months ago

White House aide avoids testifying on security breach

Citing 'separation of powers,' the White House said Obama social secretary Desiree Rogers would not be testifying at Thursday's congressional hearing.
Citing 'separation of powers,' the White House said Obama social secretary Desiree Rogers would not be testifying at Thursday's congressional hearing.

Washington (CNN) - The White House is being accused stonewalling as Congress investigates the party-crasher security breach at President Obama's first state dinner last week.

At issue: Whether the White House is protecting Social Secretary Desiree Rogers from testifying about how Tareq and Michaele Salahi were able to crash the first White House state dinner. The couple did not have an invite but were allowed in.

Rogers' office planned the dinner.

Members of Congress put pressure on Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan Friday for the grate crashing fiasco. Sullivan said his agency will take the heat for the incident.

"This is our fault and our fault alone," he said. "There's no other people to blame here. ... Look at me and blame me," he told the House Homeland Security Committee.

Lawmakers praised his candor, but bluntly declared that Rogers should be facing tough questions too.

Full story

Related: White House 'stonewalling' on security breach, Republican says

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Lee in TN

    Let the White House deal with their security issues. This is just another ploy by the republicans to distract from the fact, that during their rule of Washington no one testified, even when they broke the law.

    December 3, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. A.B.

    I think that there is sufficient blame to go around on this matter. However, most of the blame belongs on the Secret Service for letting the Salahis ito the White House State dinner in the first place. The Secret Service gets paid to protect and take a bullet for the President, his family and staff and they should take the blame in this matter. Ms. Desiree Rogers is partly to blame for not assigning a staff member of her office to manage invitations to this event and abandoning protocol on White House invitations. However, she is not responsible for security at the White House. The Secret Service is.

    December 3, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. worriedmom

    somethng smells fishy here and i think it may be the WH. Protecting again.
    Let's get over this and get on with jobs, jobs, jobs!!!

    December 3, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. M Paul

    The blessed ones will always going to get in. How about young folks who worked during snow, cold and heat to make sure that CHANGE will happen? How about mothers and girls who traveled distances to come to Obama rallies? Why they can't be invited?

    December 3, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. A.B.

    think that there is sufficient blame to go around on this matter. However, most of the blame belongs on the Secret Service for letting the Salahis into the White House State dinner in the first place. The Secret Service gets paid to protect and take a bullet for the President, his family and staff and should take the blame in this matter. Ms. Desiree Rogers is partly to blame for not assigning a staff member of her office to manage invitations to this event and abandoning protocol on White House invitations. However, she is not responsible for security at the White House. The Secret Service is. The Salahis are responsible for this situation by showing up uninvited to the State Dinner. They should be prosecuted for trespassing.

    December 3, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Terry - Indiana

    This is not a White House Staff issue. The White House Secret Service Detail is solely responsible for the security of the White House and the President of the United States. I find it interesting that the Head of the Secret Service fell on his sword at the Congressional Committee Hearing, but I have not read that the Agent in Charge was dismissed. A list of attendees was given to the Secret Service, and someone dropped the ball.

    December 3, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. gail

    We are sending more troops into Afghanistan and this is what Congress is concentrating on? Also, the Social Secretary is NOT responsible for the President's security and safety, the Secret Service IS!

    December 3, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  8. Mike

    Sounds like a certain Social Secretary should be on the unemployment line soon for a complete and total failure to perform her duties. I know i would be if I did my job as well as she did.

    December 3, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Guilty but the liberal media will protect her and all dummycrats.

    December 3, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  10. indiana voter

    I personally don't see how her testifying will be a threat to our intelligence and our national security, which is what "executive privilege" is supposed to be used for. It is not to be used to protect your old Chicago friends from answering questions about an administrative error. So much for the "transparency" from this administration.

    December 3, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    "This is our fault and our fault alone," he said. "There's no other people to blame here. ... Look at me and blame me," he told the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Why drag a secretary before this mob of bafoons? They don't want truth, they want to create as much division as possible.

    December 3, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    They got their answer from the Secret Service... "They were to blame and NO ONE ELSE to blame!"

    Why drag a secretary before these useless bafoons. God do your job on finding jobs!

    December 3, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. trying to be reasonable in WV

    Tempest in a teapot, people. EVERYONE except the Secret Service (THEY need to get it straight!) needs to get a life. And the Salahis might well benefit from brain transplants.

    December 3, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    She should be fired. Ooops, can't do that, Affirmative Action hire.

    December 3, 2009 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. Ex-Repub n' SC

    They got their answer from the Secret Service... "They were to blame and NO ONE ELSE!"

    Why drag a secretary before these useless bafoons?
    Go do your job finding jobs! This making a mountain out of nothing.... Oh, I forgot; that is what you do!

    December 3, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. Noella, FL

    I'm an Obama supporter and I really don't see why she can't testify. We just want to know what happened. I think this woman is at fault for being a "guest" at the party instead of a "staff member". The party was not for her, but for the president and first lady. I really couldn't care less about her embarrasment, I want the president protected.

    On the other hand, I don't think Congress should ask questions that may give people ideas and pose a security threat that wasn't there before.

    December 3, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  17. Connie,KS

    Well, I really don't want to see Ms. Desiree Rogers strutting her outfit before the event, as if she's an invited guest. She should be working and trust me, if it were my job, I wouldn't sit down until I knew all guests had been accounted for, and the Secret Service could continue to do their job.

    With any hightprofile job, comes responsibilities. Yes it's exciting, but you still have to do your job.

    If something happened to the president there would be hell to pay. Hopefully from now on she will be on her toes.

    December 3, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  18. Molly Weasley

    How is this possibly her fault? She planned the dinner for several hundred people. She wasn't supposed to be a bouncer. That's the Secret Service's job. You don't get in without an invitation. Period. And some agents slacked off.

    It's a waste of everyone's time for congressional Republicans to try to make political hay out of this.

    December 3, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
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