Third White House 'Gate-Crasher' Says He Was Invited

Carlos Allen with Michaele SalahiABC News
Carlos Allen with Michaele Salahi

A third man alleged to have crashed the White House State Dinner in November now says he was invited to the party -- days after repeatedly denying that he was ever there.

Carlos Allen, first identified by the Washington Post and confirmed to ABC News by government sources, is the third suspect under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service for attending the Nov. 24 gala without an invitation.

But Allen's attorney, A. Scott Bolden, told ABC News his client received "what he believed to be an official invitation," adding the Secret Service "probably ought to be investigating themselves and the process and what occurred here."

Video of the White House crasher.Play
Alleged Third White House Crasher Arrives at State Dinner

Bolden refused to provide a copy of Allen's invitation to ABC News because he had not yet seen the original, saying he was still conducting his own investigation.

On Monday the U.S. Secret Service announced that it had identified a third uninvited guest, in addition to Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who breached security and masqueraded on White House grounds.

Video footage from the event shows Carlos Allen emerging from a van that carried Indian business leaders from a hotel to the White House. He then enters the White House through the front door, just minutes before the guest of honor, Indian Prime Minister Monmohan Singh, walked through the same entrance.

VIDEO: Security Breach: Third White House Gate-Crasher FoundPlay

Sources tell ABC News the D.C.-area man met the Indian delegation at the Willard Hotel, where they went through a magnetometer security screening before boarding vans to the White House. It's unclear if Allen was ever asked to show identification.

Upon approaching the White House gate, Secret Service personnel then waved through the delegation's van, assuming everyone inside had been cleared and screened to attend.

"They clearly are not following their basic protocol in that you cannot let anyone in a controlled space, particularly with the president, without being cleared," former FBI special agent Brad Garrett told ABC News.

The Secret Service says that "there is nothing to indicate that this individual went through the receiving line" or had contact with the Obamas, unlike the Salahis, who famously shook hands with the president.

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"The first breach flabbergasted me," Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., told ABC News. "Now we have another breach that tells me there are holes in security at the White House."

Official: State Dept. Responsible for Vetting Indian Delegation Guests

While Secret Service officials have assumed full responsibility for the Salahis' presence at that dinner, they say the U.S. State Deparment had an obligation to vet and screen the guests traveling with the Indian delegation to the White House from the Willard Hotel.


"A State protocol officer should have prevented him from going through the U.S.S.S. security check at the Willard, U.S.S.S. has no list at that checkpoint," a U.S. official told ABC News.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters the incident is "a very serious ongoing criminal investigation."

The Secret Service first identified the presence of a third "crasher" after reexamining video of guests arriving, trying to match faces with names on a guest list. They found one man in a tuxedo, but no corresponding name on a guest list.

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The third crasher was then quickly identified as Allen and later questioned, according to one government official.

In an interview with Politico on Monday, Allen denied attending the state dinner, saying repeatedly, "I did not attend the state dinner."

Secret Service Reviews Security Procedures After Breach

In a statement Tuesday, House Homeland Security Chairman Benny Thompson, D-Miss., accused the Secret Service of displaying a "pattern of… failing to properly protect the President." He also admonished the agency, urging it to "be forthcoming and proactive with details regarding all breaches of security."

Thompson and the ranking Republican on the committee, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., were only informed of the existence of a third "crasher" just before the Secret Service's public disclosure Monday, despite the committee's ongoing investigation into the Salahi breach.

VIDEO: Rep. Peter King intensifies pressure on Rogers to testify.Play

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told Thompson's committee at a hearing last month that the agency is thoroughly reviewing its protocols.

Donovan told ABC News procedural changes have already been implemented to address whatever holes existed in the system for foreign delegations under the responsibility of Department of State to enter facilities secured by the Secret Service.

The Secret Service is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which has found itself somewhat embattled due to security breaches leading to the presence of the alleged failed bomber Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

ABC News' Kirit Radia, Siobhan Fisher, Ann Compton, and Steven Portnoy contributed to this report.