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Obama: Gatecrashers Lapse "Won't Happen Again"

5798322At the end of his interview with President Obama that aired Sunday, "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft asked about Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the so-called "White House gatecrashers" whose unauthorized entry into the Obama administration's first state dinner prompted a Congressional investigation and media frenzy.

"It's really a shame that I had to go through a whole 60 Minutes interview without talking about the gate crashers," the president quipped, laughing, when Kroft raised the issue as the interview wrapped up. "Good catch."

The president said the Salahis "should not have gotten through the gate."

"A mistake was made at the checkpoint to let them through," he said. "That mistake was not corrected through the process. I think the Secret Service has already taken responsibility for it. I think there's been an acknowledgement on the part of the White House that there should've been better coordination between Secret Service and the Social Secretary's office. And it won't happen again."

Asked if he is unhappy with White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, the president said he is "unhappy with everybody who was involved in the process."

"…because obviously although I chafe at being in the bubble, I also want to make sure my family is safe," he said. "And that foreign guests of ours are safe. And so, it was a screw up."

"Now I will admit that, you know, this is a town where once a screw up happens, people can't just say, okay, that was a screw up and let's fix it," he said. "There has to be, you know two weeks worth of cable chatter about it."

"I don't think that from a policy perspective, this was the most important thing or even the fifth or sixth most important thing that happened this week, although it got the most news," added Mr. Obama.

Kroft asked the president if he was "seriously angry" when he found out what happened.

"Yes," he said. "That's why it won't happen again."

More From President Obama on "60 Minutes":

Transcript: President Obama, Part 1
Transcript: President Obama, Part 2
Obama Versus the "Fat Cats"
Obama: Gatecrashers Lapse "Won't Happen Again"
Obama: Senate Will Pass Health Bill by Christmas
Web Extra: Afghanistan and Pakistan
Web Extra: What Pakistan Must Do
Web Extra: Why This War?
Web Extra: His Biggest Frustration
Web Extra: Unfinished Business
Web Extra: The Party Crashers

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