The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has requested a briefing into how a couple apparently crashed the state dinner at the White House and shook hands with President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLabor agency bucks courts to attack independent workers No Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way Biden should pivot to a pro-growth strategy on immigration reform MORE and the first lady.
"I am deeply disturbed by the apparent failure of the Secret Service to follow basic security protocols at the White House during the state dinner," Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
"We need an immediate investigation into the facts of this case, and a review of the Secret Service's security practices. I have asked for a preliminary briefing next week and will follow the investigation until we understand what actually happened," Towns said.
Michaele and Tareq Salahi of Virginia met and shook hands with Obama and Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections Michelle Obama: 'Treat fear as a challenge' Barack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle MORE in the receiving line before the dinner, even though the couple was not on the guest list, the White House said Friday. The dinner honored Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Secret Service issued an apology for the apparent security breach. Director Mark Sullivan said the agency was "deeply concerned and embarrassed" by the event in a statement also released Friday.
"The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list," Sullivan said.
"Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely," Sullivan said. "That failing is ours."
(The White House/Samantha Appleton)