January 4th, 2010
02:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Secret Service says a third uninvited guest entered state dinner

A third person who was not invited to President Obama's Nov. 24 state dinner entered with the delegation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pictured.
A third person who was not invited to President Obama's Nov. 24 state dinner entered with the delegation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, pictured.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Salahis weren't the only unauthorized guests at President Barack Obama's first White House state dinner.

The Secret Service announced Monday that a third person who wasn't on the official guest list made it into the dinner by entering with the delegation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A Secret Service statement said the unidentified person traveled from a local hotel with the Indian delegation, which was under the responsibility of the State Department.

A senior State Department official identified the individual as an American man, but declined to provide further information. The official said the man showed up at the hotel where the State Department was helping transport - at the request of the Indian Embassy - a group of Indian businessmen to the dinner.

"This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House," the Secret Service statement said.

The State Department official said it is unusual for the department to escort a group of private foreign nationals around Washington, but said the embassy made a special request to facilitate their travel because the group "was very important" to the Indian delegation.

"At present, there is nothing to indicate that this individual went through the receiving line or had contact with the President or first lady," the statement continued.

The identity of the person was not disclosed. The Secret Service statement said the person's name had not been entered into the WAVES computer system for White House visitors, while the rest of the names in the Indian delegation were in the system.

"Procedural changes have already been implemented to address foreign delegations under the responsibility of Department of State who are entering facilities secured by the Secret Service," the statement said.

A northern Virginia couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, made internationalheadlines by crashing the Nov. 24 event and having their photo taken with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries.

– CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

Updated: 10:06 p.m.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • White House
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    Wow. Loosy goosey security there, isn't it?

    January 4, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Leigh Parker

    pretty sad if his (Obama's) team can't even secure the white house; What is the rest of the UNITED STATES in for?

    January 4, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    No surprise here when you have an inept administration in The White House.

    January 4, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Joe

    If one can not guard the WH safety, then how can he/she can protect the USA?

    January 4, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Adam

    Our secret service is third world.

    January 4, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. John

    Completely unacceptable. Not only was this another potential threat to our President, but a potential threat to the Primie Minister. If I were another foreign leader, I'd think twice about coming to this White House. I understand the administration is new at this, but the Secret Service isn't!

    January 4, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Gee, Secret Service, why don't you capitalize on your title and keep this kind of snafu SECRET? To what purpose is this type of information being disseminated to GLOBAL news agencies? None of this puts you in a good light, on the contrary, it makes you look quite inept thereby inviting other "amateurs" to try their luck at entering the White House uninvited. The more I think about it the less enthused I am at having you 'protect' our President. Good gravy!

    January 4, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    you know I hate this presidents policies, but he is our president! you know the president of the united states of america! this is unacceptable and even though I think he is making mistakes nothing can happen to our president! I would rather see him ruin us with foolish liberal policies that we can someday fix than something happen to the president! I put this on his staff don't want to hear chatter I just expect this man to be protected, even a foolish act like the one on the italian pm ! if someone even broke his nose it would be disgusting! wow it makes me so mad that this could happen at the whitehouse!

    January 4, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Tom

    Okay, NOW it's time for heads to roll.

    January 4, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. me and mr b, oak harbor WA

    i don't want us all to get along – i want all the gate crashers prosecuted as threats to POTUS.

    January 4, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Don

    Wow i am speechless and the U.S says the rest of the world's security is bad. mmmmmmmm

    January 4, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Paul

    Its no wonder the crotch bomber got aboard a plane to the USA

    January 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    I am so mad I have to post again because I am thinking about there being exploding underwear in this world, I am sure you could make exploding anything and we have a lapse like this! I don't care how you stand on our current issues this is disgusting!

    January 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. terry,va

    If Obummie can't protect his house do you think he can protect yours? What a loser. We better hope that we have heroes on our airplanes like the dude in Detroit.

    January 4, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. ceecee

    I would be "ashame" to admit to the public that uninvited people where able to pass security measures and enter a high level Presidential function. Don't only fire security, but also fire those who leak this kind of press to the media.

    January 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Jennifer NYC

    I'm glad the Salahi's brought the lapse to the attention of everyone so this never happens again. Last thing we need is an assassinated President.

    January 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Michelle

    He is now signing up for Facebook. Be his friend. No, it's not humorous, it's scary. Not for the president, but for National Security.

    January 4, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Tired of The Rhetoric

    Good for them! Talk about playing politics! If you want to chaneg parties you do it when running ofr office or you resign and then do it. I don't care if you are a Dem or Rep.
    :ieberman changed while running when he had to become a third party candidate.

    January 4, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Tired of The Rhetoric

    I'm sure this has been going on for years but in a 24/7 news cylce world, we hear about it now.
    They probably also know how much of each item on his plate was comsumed!

    January 4, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    And they want to protect us against terrorism.

    January 4, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Amazed

    If this government can not secure a white house dinner how in the world can we expect them to be able to pretect us from outside the white house?

    January 4, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. duffer165

    Complacency kills.

    January 4, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Mark

    I wonder if it is the same Indian man who helped the nigerian terrorist slip through customs in Amersterdam? Maybe that's why the white house is withholding information from the senate intelligence committee.

    January 4, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Nick

    The dept of Homeland security is a joke, they can't even properly screen people entering the White House!

    Or next time you're at the airport, take a look at the screeners: The laziest looking, under-educated amateurs.

    One could easily smuggle an atom-bomb past them, completely unnoticed. The DHS needs dramatic changes.

    January 4, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Shaun

    Oh, no worries, it was Bo, the Presidents pooch.

    January 4, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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