Socialite Reality-TV Wannabes Who Crashed White House Met President Obama

"I think that whatever they do, they'll land on their feet … They're a lot of fun, they know how to work a party and promotion, and parties are part of their lives," he said.

Another friend, Paul Wharton, said he has talked to the Salahis and that they were "in good spirits and pretty excited about all the attention but they really just wanted to get to the truth and let the story get out.

"They are very social people, they're a lot of fun," added Wharton, who said he met the couple years ago.

The couple spends a lot of time in India, so, Wharton said, he wasn't surprised that they would have attended the event.

The socialites were aspiring to appear in the upcoming reality-TV series "Real Housewives of D.C." and were being filmed by the show's producers when they sneaked into the White House for Tuesday's state dinner, ABC News has learned.

The Salahis weren't on the White House guest list, but that didn't stop the the duo from successfully penetrating one of the nation's most secure places.

Now, the Secret Service is investigating how the Salahis managed to pull it off and whether they committed a crime. It's unclear what legal liability, if any, they may face. Were they trespassing? Did someone at the White House help them get in?

"It's clear they weren't on the list and weren't invited," White House officials said.

Initial findings of the Secret Service investigation have identified a checkpoint where procedures were not properly followed, according to the agency.

For their part, the Salahis certainly looked as though they belonged, arriving in a stretch-SUV and wearing glitzy formal evening wear.

The couple posed for pictures on the red carpet with Vice President Joe Biden, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- whom Michaele Salahi called "Ron" -- and even slid up to ABC News' Robin Roberts for a snapshot.

"Once I entered the tent, somebody came up to me and I remember that she was dressed in, it seemed like authentic Indian attire," Roberts said. "When she walked away, I thought, again because of her attire, I thought that she very much fit in. There was never a time when I thought, 'Boy, what are they doing here?'"

The couple later posted pictures from the evening on their Facebook pages.

An ABC News camera outside the White House captured footage of the Salahis arriving. They were trailed by what appeared to be a TV crew.

A spokeswoman for the Bravo television network, which produces "Real Housewives," told ABC News, "Michaele Salahi is under consideration as a cast member and, as such, Half Yard Productions [the producers of the series for Bravo] were filming the Salahis on that day. That was the extent of our involvement."

Bravo added the couple told the crew they had been invited to the state dinner, which the producers had no reason to believe was untrue.

Obama Was Never in Danger

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the two were not escorted off the premises Tuesday night, but it's unclear whether they ever made it to a seat for dinner.

"It is a real concern if they would have had a different intent," Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent, said. "Could they have possibly physically attacked somebody? Of course they could have. They would have been wrestled to the ground and taken away. But it is a real concern about people's ability to penetrate security and then be next to people that it would be a huge issue if something happened to them."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
null
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...