Gate crashers deny seeking payment; lawmakers demand expanded inquiry

A spokeswoman for Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple who crashed President Barack Obama's first state dinner on Tuesday, denied reports on Sunday that the Salahis are seeking a payment in the range of $500,000 for exclusive rights to their first televised interview since the Nov. 24 incident.

Multiple outlets reported that representatives for the Salahis reached out to networks over the weekend and encouraged them to "get their bids in" for an exclusive first interview. According to one television executive who spoke to the Associated Press, the asking price was in "the mid-six figures."

Despite scores of interview requests, the Salahis have yet to talk to anyone in the media about their experience sneaking into the White House, although Tareq Salahi did respond to a Facebook message from the Washington Post on Wednesday, before the story gained national attention.

On Friday, a CNN rep confirmed that the couple canceled a scheduled Monday night appearance on Larry King Live, but declined to state the reason. Speaking to The New York Daily News, the Salahis' spokeswoman, Mahogany Jones, described it as a "miscommunication."

Interest in the Salahis' story has risen in recent days, as additional details have emerged about the couple's past and about the incident.  Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) have called for an expanded inquiry into the security breach, as has Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the ranking Minority member on the House Homeland Security Committee.