November 27th, 2009
02:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Secret Service agents visit winery to chat with state dinner couple

Washington (CNN) - Two Secret Service agents visited a Virginia winery Friday to question a couple whose appearance at a White House state dinner raised eyebrows this week, the winery manager told CNN.

Diane Weiss, manager at the Oasis Winery, in Hume, Virginia, said the agents wanted to speak with Tareq and Michaele Salahi, but Weiss didn't know their whereabouts.

The Secret Service could not be reached for comment.

The Warren County Report, a local newspaper, quoted Weiss as saying the agents said they wanted to speak with the couple and not arrest them. It also quoted her as saying that the Salahis live in Linden, Virginia but receive mail at the winery.

And it quoted her as saying the agents said it was "imperative" that investigators speak with the couple and that they would "take whatever action" is necessary if they did not.

Weiss told CNN that the newspaper quoted her accurately, but she declined to elaborate.

The state dinner was held for visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

The Salahis, aspiring reality-TV stars, made news when they showed up at the dinner. The White House says they were not invited, but their lawyer, Paul W. Garner, "states emphatically that the Salahis' did not 'crash' this event," according to a statement from the couple's publicist, Mahogany Jones.

Filed under: Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Joe Terrogano

    It was not funny, cute, or wise. I hope that they get lots of attention from the Secret Service. Idiots!

    November 27, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Biased

    The Secret Service was wrong in what they did, but this couple need charges laid against them for trespassing and making false statements to Federal employees. Lying to the FBI is what got martha Stewart jailtime and not what they were trying to charge her with insider trading.
    This couple isn't cute or darling or just because they want a reality show – I imagine balloon dad and mom were cute at the time too. Or perhaps as was detailed yesterday, a man who hopped the fence to jump onto the WH lawn, ended up in jail for 150 days. Holding the SS accountable – yes. Holding this couple accountable for what they did – yes! Otherwise this will encourage others to go to elaborate ruses to gain entry or this can be used as an excuse for others who might be charged in the future.

    November 27, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. FALSE NEWS...not really the news .. just propaganda from hate mongers to the no brainers

    GW Bush security was breached in Iraq!...remember how well he got stoned with a pair of shoes? I guess you repugs think that was GW just ducking and acting like he was in a drama class?....

    the president of the US GW Bush getting stoned with flip flops like he was a common prisoner...the republiklan govt. security aorund the GW Bush was super tight, NOT!

    November 27, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Bill in Winslow

    Let's see. These two went to a party that you, and I, and they paid for. Blame the inept Secret Service to letting them in. The couple did nothing wrong.

    November 27, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Barbara

    The threats against President Obama are up 400%... The Secret Service should have been all over them the minute they hit the first checkpoint. No ifs, ands or buts!!!! Not cute, not smart, and definitely not acceptable! God bless and protect President Obama and his family, obviously those who are supposed to do that job are looking away. Why?

    November 27, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. jp,michigan

    All you hear from the media ,at least they weren't terrorist. Does that make it right?

    November 27, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. SOL

    What law did they break? Not a single one from the reports so far. They did not climb over the wall, they did not sneak in using a service vehicle. They simply walked up, introduced themselves and walked right in with the SS officers watching them do it. Took a few pictures.... no report even tells whether they had dinner or drinks...

    What's the harm?

    Did you know that when our country was founded, access to the president was not restricted. The White House doors were open to the public, any citizen could request to speak with the present. The inauguration ball was open to the public up until Truman.

    I say that if we continue to allow this separation of the President and the government to exist, then at some point the government will no longer see itself as the servant of the people and the people will become the servants of the government.

    The first victim will be freedom of the press.

    November 27, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    @Mad In Mississippi........................ I hate to burst your bubble but the CIA has no authority to provide Secret Service Protection to the President and the White House. The CIA is an organization that works in the shadows in other countries. By law it cannot carry out operations on American soil.

    Better luck next time "Mad In Mississippi".

    November 27, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Alex Valiao (Aliso Viejo, Ca)

    Interesting comments. Has anyone wondered what differs the Heene's from the Salahi's?? The Salahi's are experts and great at what they do -"conning/manipulating" people. It is not something an ordinary person will pull off just for the fun of "gatecrashing". I'd say.....practice makes perfect. They even have the proverbial "poker face" for it. As for the secret service and all of our country's officers..."Everyday is a learning day!!"

    November 27, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. ComradeObummer

    This couple just embarrassed OBOZO and his incompetent staff.

    KUDOs to them.

    November 27, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. jerseylou

    The only chat these two should be getting is in a jail cell. mr.salahi I would advised you not to bend over if you drop your soap.Big bubba and little leroy might be standing behind you to wipe that grin off your face.I'm sure your wife wouldn't like a Bowlegged husband coming home after a stint in the pokey.

    November 27, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. another entertainment item

    We have a health care debate, the Afghanistan war and a financial crisis. But somehow CNN and most of the American public put topics like "party crashers", "balloon boys" and Sarah Palin ahead of issues that really matters.

    Are there are real news agency left anywhere in the US? Everything I read lately sounds like it is coming straight from People Magazine and the National Enquirer.

    NO wonder we are an uninformed public that believes crap like "Death Panels".

    November 27, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. Cindy

    I'd just hate to see these guys get rewarded with a reality show. it'll just encourage more people to "Bubble Boy" the system, just for publicity.

    November 27, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. normajean

    Despite the obvious fact that the Secret Service really blew it at the state dinner, I feel that there should be some illegality here that these people are to be charged with, Left to become "famous" for what they did could lead others to try the same thing with perhaps untoward results that no presidencial administration should have to deal with. You act like children, you should be treated as such.

    November 27, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. D.

    Why search them there? Look in the white house first!

    November 27, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. normajean

    " Where did you learn your history SoL? Abe Lincoln was the first victim of the publics access to the president, which you see as a

    November 27, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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