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. Greg in Milwaukee

    They made Obama look bad... which means, they are probably going to be beat pretty severely. I'd be surprised if we ever hear from those two any more.

    November 27, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. polite willl

    the people who let them in should go to jail to.some thing dont sound right.

    November 27, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Impromptu

    It is hard to believe that this is the extent of the fallout. Everyone in the world now knows how poorly President Obama is protected. Two people wearing smart outfits escaped scrutiny. This is shameful and frightening.

    November 27, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Karl

    The Secret Service has egg on its face and now is going to try to humble this married couple for slipping in on the WH party. A good time for these people to get into the "peoples" house and tough tamales for the dopes watching the door.

    November 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Richp the Poconos

    Who cares, spank the perimeter screening people and move on. While all eyes are on this what else is going on the reporters are missing while dealing with this tripe.

    November 27, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Look, people need to stop kissing the butt of these gate crashers. They are worse than gate crashers, they presented a threat to the President even if they didn't do anything. It is NOT acceptable and they deserve to be arrested. This wasn't just any party, it was a federal function where the most important people in the country were attending, not to mention a foreign dignitary. This behavior is not acceptable in any way and its not a small thing, especially during a time when terrorism is so rampant and they have an arab name (sorry, the reality is that the arab nation is pretty much at war with the US. You'll have to just deal with it).

    November 27, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Oh, come on Greg, this isn't the Cheney's WH you're talking about.

    The Secret Service will use this to learn and chances are the agents who failed to screen them out will be chasing counterfeiters for the rest of their careers.

    November 27, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    WOW Greg in Milwaukee, the White House is not going to make this couple disappear. They did comit a federal crime and they could possibly have posed a potential threat to the High Ranking Officials in attendence that night.

    My concern is that they find out how it happened and take the necessary actions to insure that it does not happen again.

    November 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Anne B

    You can be sure that if this couple were not "Northern Virginia Winery and Horse People," they would ALREADY BE IN JAIL.....

    November 27, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. timz

    With any luck we'll be able to watch (or not) this slimy couple on their new reality TV show "Celebrity Lockdown" in which the camaras roll as lame-ass wannabe celebrities do hard time. If we're really lucky it might get renewed for a second year.

    November 27, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. mjm

    If I were the SS and Obama....I wouldn't even bring this up. Fix the problem and move on quietly.

    I don't think you can get arrested because someone else was stupid...Can you?

    November 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. snowflake

    Something smells pretty rotten in this saga - and it isn't a dead fish either! I hope the Secret Service and FBI do their homework on this couple!!! Me thinks there is a long, long, stream of "T R O U B L E " woven into their lives!

    November 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Mlhall

    Greg in Milwaukee you are so not with it. This do not make Obama look bad, Obama was not on the door Just like Bush was not on the door when the man threw the shoe at Bush. It does not make any diffent who our President is, he or she needs to be protect at all time. Some one drop the ball and it was not Obama but if I was he, I would make sure no one would drop it again.

    November 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. BobHope

    "The Secret Service could not be reached for comment." – would that be because they are secret?

    November 27, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. anon y. mous

    ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.... So much more important things to be concerned with. These people were typical rich scumbag socialites who feel they are "owed" just about everything. A party in "Our town?" – they go. If it's cool enough. I'm sure they care about this party even less than the last one were Beyonce was at or something.

    If you ask me, it all sounds produced and fabricated by Bravo, as a free commercial on all the news feeds. What else could it be?

    Producer: "Let's send these reality interns into this party and see if they can do it. Oh man, they did it... Oh shoot people are mad now. "

    "Bravo had some cameras there but weren't covering the couple." Yeah, they were outside running to the van when they realized what happened. Just a guess

    November 27, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Mike in NYC

    There's no such thing as "the arab [sic] nation," Melissa.

    You probably meant "the Moslem nation," but it's a good bet you also don't know that THAT doesn't exist, or that there are non-Arab Moslems, and Arab Christians. Or that numerous majority-Arab countries are US client states.

    November 27, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Al, CA

    Interesting: Cheney is not in prison yet.

    November 27, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Flex

    The unintended consequences of this couple's stunt will be the rolling of heads in the secret service. For aspiring celebrities, this act was gauche!

    November 27, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Mad In Mississippi

    The real shame is that young military lives are being injured and taken in a foreign country to defend liberties in this nation and the CIA can not manage to secure a freakin party! That's sad

    November 27, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Tom in Illinois

    The buck stops at the top of the chain of command and that is Obama, and this is the man that has total responsability for our security in this country. Frightening, isn't it.

    November 27, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    Hey Greg in Milwaukee. How did they make Obama look bad? Do you think he was at the security checkpoint checking ID's? Do you think he hired the Secret Service officers who screwed up? Do you think he even knew about it until long after the fact? You aren't very bright. I bet you are the type of person who actually watches these mindless reality TV shows.

    November 27, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. Cybersport

    The consequences of this are frightening. I'm sure the Secret Service will fix the problems however

    November 27, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. david thrall

    They weren't funny, they weren't cute. They broke the law. They need to pay the price.Those responsible for the serious lapse in security must also pay the price with their jobs.

    November 27, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Lucy, Texas

    Chat about law enforcement? I thought if you broke a law the police gave you a ticket or if it was a felony, charged you and took you to jail. What is amazing is how America talks about strong laws and order, yet the US is overun with millions of illegal aliens, career criminals, career corporations that were able to change laws to steal America's retirement funds and continue practice business the same way.... and now ridiculous wantabe "celebrities" trying to gain attention by breaking laws and become a "star".

    Our society use to follow the rules because they didn't want to break the law and end up in jail. The only reason laws work is because society thinks the police will enforce them. It looks like the people who break the laws think there is a one in ten chance that they will ever get caught and with a good lawyer they won't have to suffer any jail time.

    There is no excuse when you catch someone with pictures of them committing a felony, charging them with the crime and throw them in jail. Let their lawyer work with the legal system to bail them out. Just because you think you are "pretty" or "popular" shouldn't stop the usual enforcement of law. I guarantee their lawyers won't break their neck bailing them out in the middle of the night. I also bet they won't look so popular or pretty after a night in jail.

    November 27, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. raul

    these people need to go to Jail period. !!!

    November 27, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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