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. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    First off, the SS is responsible for the safety of the President, NOT the WH social director.

    If that has changed and she is in charge of his safety, then fire the SS.

    And for all you cons. remember when HRH King George II used "executive privilege" to protect Myers and Rove.

    Do not complain when the rules you cons made up are used to thwart you, it is call precedence and the shrub defined and used it first.

    December 3, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. MP

    She should face scrutiny for sitting herself down for dinner as if an honored guest instead of making sure there were no issues. If the White House is protecting her , they do so at their peril.This is the new path,relying on GW's attorney for legal interpretation? Wake up! Very bad mistake with a smelly cover -up to match,Ms Rogers.

    December 3, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Cindy

    We're spending way too much time and effort on this issue. Enough pontificating. The breach has been found, fixed; move on.

    December 3, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. Chandler

    The Social Secretary is a party planner...not a security planner. She has no authority over the Secret Service. Any member of Congress that is trying to drag her into this is doing it for purely poltical reasons. The Secret Service are at fault, and they are accepting the blame. Some people will stop at nothing to try and stain the Administration, even to the detriment of our country, and unfortunately a lot of those people are in Congress.

    December 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. m smith

    The repos are having to much fun with this. And of course they have to blame some one in the admistration. I don't know what proticol this falls under but as serious as it is it is also a chance for the repos to shoot off their big fat mouths and find something to object to. Nice to see that gray whit house counsel under the first Bush administration has a better grasp on the situation than the wing nuts do.

    December 3, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. valwayne

    Executive priviledge for a Social Secretary? Executive priviledge regarding 2 nuts breaking into a state dinner. What kind of state secrets or super secret personal advice could she have given the President. Could it be she's responsible for this mess and Obama is shielding her and letting the Secret Service take the blame???? Can anybody spell COVERUP!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I love the new open and transparent administration. This is such a change from the last one who hid behind executive priilege and separation of government branches.

    December 3, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Right Leaning Independent

    Well I guess since libs portrayed Bush as incompetent, we should all return the favor and discuss the incompetence of the Obama staff. Where in the world did they find these inexperienced incompetent people?? This is a reflection of the top since they picked these folks...

    December 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. Not this again

    I thought McSame had lost the election.... didn't Obama and DNC criticize Bush for covering for Cheney with the so called "executive privilege"

    We are now seeing more of the same.....

    December 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. EZ

    Desiree Rogers should have managed the FIRST state dinner more effectively.

    She herself should have meticulously saw to the invite list and verified that every guests on the list with Secret Service.

    That's what she gets paid the BIG bucks for. I'm sure President Obama and First Lady Michelle was NOT too happy to hear their party got crashed by some "reality show" couple.

    December 3, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  11. annie against biased news

    She should be fired and the 'gate crashers' should be in jail.

    December 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. terry,va

    What protection would she have other than Chicago style politics? Why are we concerned about Obummie's security? He brought it on himself.

    December 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Marvin

    Why should Michelle's old friend (Desiree Rogers) be blamed for not doing her job when they can tell the Secret Service Director to "take the heat"?

    December 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. Fitz in Texas

    Michelle Obama whats to protect her friend(s) so she' willing to throw others under the bus. That's this administration's way.

    December 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Roark

    Yep, change you can believe in.

    Next, there will be cries of 'vast right wing conspirancy.'

    Just show up and answer the questions.

    December 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. Jane

    Imagine that another one not stepping up to the plate and answering questions. Guess this administration appointee does not have to answer for their "mistake". ...how many more out there????

    December 3, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. kman821

    When did a WH social secretary take over the awesome responsibility of protecting our President? The SS head has rightly taken full responsibility for the outrageous security breach ... now, someone needs to lose the job they obviously didn't fulfill ... case closed.

    December 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. indy

    The breach is truly the Secret Services problem. However, the Social Secretary should never be considered a guest at such a function. She was or should have been working, not sitting and enjoying the festivities. I'm also curious as to whether the Secret Service would have been able to contact anyone in the Social Secretary's office if they had tried.

    December 3, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Wise Latina

    Obama transparency you can believe in. NOT!!

    December 3, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. Bob in Pa

    Yeah right, the SS should have said no, but we all know somebody okayed their entry.

    December 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Fooled Again

    Will we ever hold anyone accountable for anything anymore? Just saying "mistakes were made" seems to be good enough these days. Cowards, that's all we have on the government payroll now. Nobody trusts anyone because there are no more rules.
    Some don't pay taxes, some order torture, some steal bailout money, some lie about landing in Bosnia under enemy fire, some lie about outing CIA agents and some didn't protect us on 911. It's like we're living in the twightlight zone.

    December 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. AJ

    Does Congress have nothing better to do with it's time? While I do believe this is a case of the Obama's sheilding a friend when she should be fired, and I believe that it underscores the fact that Obama is just another poltician who is basically dishonest, I think Congress has way more important things to do.

    December 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. Abdisalan

    The attack in somali gration ceremony is horific an shame ful .

    December 3, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    Separation of powers?!?!? She's the SOCIAL SECRETARY!

    December 3, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Just like the Bush administration......

    stonewalling and no transparency..............Is this the change you voted for?

    Imagine Obama declaring Executive privilege......just like Bush.......

    Electorate....you've been had.

    December 3, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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