November 30th, 2009
08:32 PM ET
13 years ago

Congress calls for party crashers to testify

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Congress calls for party crashers to testify."]Washington (CNN) - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee called Monday for the couple who crashed President Obama's state dinner last week and the head of Secret Service to testify at a Thursday hearing on the security breakdown at the White House event.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, announced that he wants to hear Tareq and Michaele Salahi, and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, explain how the couple was able to get inside the White House and shake hands with President Obama without being on the guest list.

"This is a time for answers, recognition of security deficiencies past and present, and remedies to ensure the strength of the Secret Service and the safety of those under its protection," Thompson said in a statement. "This is not the time for political games or scapegoating to distract our attention from the careful oversight we must apply to the Secret Service and its mission. My confidence in the management of the Secret Service hangs in the balance." He called the incident a "slap in the face" to other Secret Service employees.

Internal investigations have indicated that the Secret Service didn't follow protocol at at least one security checkpoint.

Filed under: Congress • Extra • Homeland Security • Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. NAT, NYC

    I think they have to be prosecuted to full extend. It will also guarantee that next time no one would have an urge to crash any parties they were not invited to.

    November 30, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Criminals in Washington

    Better question:
    How did all the radicals get into the Obama White House?

    Note: did you know that the president's economic advisors only have 7% of private sector experience–combined. No wonder they keep coming up with awful 'solution'.

    November 30, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Perusing-through


    1) – This incident may inspire a lot of wing-nut birthers, who strongly feel Obama is not a legitimate President, to take their chances and upgrade their threats to the next level. (GOD Forbid!)

    2) – This incident could significantly tarnish the trust any foreign dignitaries may have in U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Homeland Security, and unfortunately President Obama and White House staff to protect foreign diplomats and high profile visitors to the White House.

    November 30, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Perusing-through


    Jillian Rayfield writes in TPM's 19-OCT-2009 edition of "Live Wire" that "The Boston Globe" and "Congressional Research Service" reported threats against President Obama is at a record high and is 400% higher than the previous president.

    With this knowledge in the Secret Service's back pocket, there is no excuse for this type of slip up.

    November 30, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. single mom

    Given that this is about the security of the President and his family, I would rather the Salahis talk privately to the Secret Service. If everyone knows about this, then you open the floodgates to others trying to do this. They will anyway, but let's not draw them a map of how to do it!

    November 30, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Kerzell, CA

    You might want to ask Michelle Bauchman

    November 30, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Cheryl

    STOP GIVING THEM ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!!! This whole thing has turned out better than those two losers had ever hoped. We all know that bad behavior gets you what you want. These people will be happy to be charged in public........and then sign the contract for their own reality show. Same goes for the Balloon Boy debacle. Let them be prosecuted away from the spotlight and actually pay for what they did without any fame or profit. I think CNN is a good news reporting entity. Why do you insist on wasting time with this garbage? If it's ratings you are looking for, keep this in mind. When I see a story like this I turn it off and I encourage everyone I know to do the same. Let the Enquirer handle the fame-seekers and do a story on improved security at the White House. I bet you can actually do it without mentioning that couple. By the way.....they should get real jobs.

    November 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Idiot_Pelosi

    Congress should have more important things to do than investigate a secret service blunder.

    Let the secret service deal with this.

    You morons in congress need to focus on JOBS and the DEFICIT and NO NEW TAXES.

    November 30, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Nancy Smith

    The Salahi's should go to jail. It is not that complicated, It's called trespassing !

    November 30, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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