January 4th, 2010
02:17 PM ET
4 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. Jeff

    How do you swing an invitation to one of these functions without being a head of state?

    January 4, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Brian

    Obviously they didn't go through all the "required security checks" or they would have been prevented from entering the white house in the first place. Very frightening that in the current climate of hate and racism that it is so easy to gain such anonymous access to the president.

    January 4, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. John Q

    OK... let's see if I have this straight.
    The White House and the SS can't keep uninvited guests out, they knew about a potential radical who attempted to bomb a US bound airliner... but somehow *I* can't fly from point A to point B without a pat down, body scan, wand scan, shoes off, no carry-on, profiled because I might file the arms of my reading glasses into leathal weapons, keep my mouth shut for the last hour of the flight, etc., etc.???
    Utterly ridiculous... and I'm a democrat.

    January 4, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Climategate

    It's just a matter of time with this adminisration.

    January 4, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. mjm

    They run a tight ship over there...don't they?

    January 4, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. JUDE CT

    This is Bull! how is it that the Obama White House has had soo many breaches within a very short time? maybe it's time to slow down on the parties the President attends or organizes. I think the Secret Service is stretched too thin!

    January 4, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Bawse

    Stop telling people that "uninvited guests" are entering the white house.
    Are you guys trying to provoke someone to think they can get in, and G-d forbid do some harm? Just becuase this biased news channel doesnt like Obama, doesn't give you a right to give security flaws you arseholes

    January 4, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Gerry

    It's a shame that something like the WH breach had to happen before new and expanded security measures were put in place. Every contingency must be planned for. Every staff member must be carefully selected and trained thoroughly.

    What If:

    1. The Sahalis were suicidal terriorists bent on killing the President? And were successful at least in their attempt.
    2. Mrs. Obama was standing next to the President and was injured or killed too?
    3. Vice President Biden and/or Mrs. Biden were killed also.

    Who would answer for the lapse in security, and what difference would it make? It would have been too late.

    Something must be done immediately to guarantee that another critical breach in security doesn't happen.

    January 4, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Karl

    What exactly is the job of the Secret Service? Oh yeh, protect the President.

    January 4, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. JA/TN

    there must be conspirators within the Obama admin

    January 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Dave

    At this point party crashers are much less interesting than potential plane crashers, and this administration should pay attention to possible terrorists and should intensify the "war on terror" efforts. I am not interested what G.W. Bush did that was wrong, he is not the president anymore, I am more interested in the current president doing the right things for our safety! So far I am pretty scared given the record to date.

    January 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Ms. Kay

    Does anyone else see a problem here? I mean this is the 4th person who has been within close proximity of the President of the United States, who has his own detailed security that is supposed to be ready to take a bullet for him. I have never in my 27 years of life heard of anything like this until now. WHY NOW!!! Why with this President is it so easy for people to slip past security and yet and still, no one has been punished or at least fired for these crimes. We have been so excited about having the 1st Afican-American President, yet they can't even protect him at his home. What"s next, if he calls the police, will they even come? People want to believe that this world has changed, but keep reading the news and you can see just how much it hasn't...and that is really sad!!!

    January 4, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Greg C.

    Where's the transparency Obama spoke of?

    January 4, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. fletc3her

    This is so silly. There have probably been uninvited guests at every White House function over the last two hundred years. It is the height of paranoia to think that every guest must be vetted prior to entering the mere presence of the President. Are they running background checks on all the school kids, veterans, and other citizens the President talks to every year?

    January 4, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Amy

    We can't protect our own WH, why do we think our country can be protected? What a joke!

    January 4, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Mike

    I know the Secret Servuce does a great job, but three people in one night. It only takes one person with some sort of explosive device similar to the one used to attempt to blow up the NW flight on Christmas before people start taking things seriously, but I guess that's what we get when we have a president that does not really care about security himself

    January 4, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. ADNOONE

    How do we expect to keep the US secure if we cannot maintain security of a White House Dinner Party??

    January 4, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. MrWright

    Chilling news indeed! Both the President AND the Vice President! I shutter to think what could have happened if a Right Wing Christian (Westboro Baptist etc.),had gained entrance. There seems to be so much hatred from these groups of extremists these days. It is a fortunate thing that these breaches were discovered before something terrible happened.

    January 4, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Independent_me

    That is crazy!!!
    Someone is putting the life of the President at risk!
    They need to be fired!!!!

    January 4, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Carl

    Just goes to show that with this administration, "security" is just another word...

    January 4, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Fitz in Texas

    Well he did campaign for an open door administration.

    January 4, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Ted R

    It seems like a systemic problem. If it happens once, I can understand, it happens twice we need to re-evaluate and understand the root cause to prevent it from happening again, but a third time....?

    Applying some basic problem solving techniques like asking the 5 why's, might get you to the root cause.

    Thanks for reading my comment.

    January 4, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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