Washington Couple Crashed State Dinner

Updated at 8:10 a.m. EST

Michaele and Tareq Salahi didn't look out of place at Tuesday's White House state dinner. They were all smiles as they rubbed shoulders with Vice President Joe Biden, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and CBS News anchor Katie Couric.

No one suspected the Salahis were a couple of brazen party crashers - and wannabe reality TV stars.

The Secret Service is looking into its security procedures after determining that the couple managed to slip into Tuesday night's event even though they were not on the guest list, agency spokesman Ed Donovan said.

President Barack Obama was never in any danger because the Salahis went through the same security screening for weapons as the 300-plus people actually invited to the dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Donovan said.

Donovan confirmed the identities of the couple. The Washington Post, which first reported on their evening out, said the Salahis were well-known in the Virginia horse-country set.

In an interview with the CBS Early Show in September, Michaele Salahi said, "President Obama has made it very accessible for anyone to visit the White House, so that's like a big thing right now."

The CBS interview was part of a segment on potential candidates for "Real Housewives of D.C." but never was aired.

Bravo, which airs the "Housewives" show, is still not confirming whether Salahi is in fact tapped to be on the show. But the man who did Salahi's makeup the night of the dinner wrote in his Facebook update that there were television crews filming as Salahi was getting ready to crash the party, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.

The Secret Service learned about the security breach Wednesday after a media inquiry prompted by the Salahis' online boasts about having attended the private event, Donovan said.

Since the Department of Homeland Security took over the Secret Service after the September 11 attacks, the agency "has been cutting corners to a shocking degree," says Ronald Kessler, author of "Inside the President's Secret Service."

One of the many photos from the dinner posted on Michaele Salahi's Facebook page shows the couple with a smiling Biden. In other photos, they appear alone or together with Emanuel, Fenty, Couric, and three Marines in their dress blues.

Donovan told CBS News that initial findings suggest a Secret Service checkpoint at the party "did not follow proper procedures" and may have permitted them admission to the dinner.

Donovan said the Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility has been directed to conduct "a comprehensive review" of the incident.

But he was emphatic in stating that the Salahis, "went through magnetometers and other levels of security, as did all guests attending the dinner."

He added that Mr. Obama and others under Secret Service protection had their usual security details with them at the dinner.

The White House has declined to comment.

The Post said uninvited guests who got in could face a potential trespassing charge unless someone from inside the White House staff slipped them in.

Donovan would not comment on possible legal violations.

The agency's Office of Professional Responsibility was reviewing what occurred. An initial finding indicated that a checkpoint did not follow proper procedures to ensure the two were on the guest list, Donovan said.
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