House Oversight chairman wants answers on state dinner breach

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 ObamaBudowsky: 3 big dangers for Democrats HuffPost says president's golfing trips to Trump properties cost taxpayers over 0 million in travel and security expenses Support for same-sex marriage dips 4 points from 2018 high: Gallup 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.
 

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"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 ObamaMichelle Obama to headline Essence Festival Obama shares tribute to Michelle to celebrate Mother's Day 111-year-old woman gets free tickets to see Michelle Obama book tour 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)