Huffington Post | Alex Leo & Alexander Belenky
First Posted: 11-27-09 11:51 AM | Updated: 11-28-09 11:15 AM
The White House released a picture today of Michaele Salahi shaking hands with the president despite earlier reports that the couple who allegedly crashed the state dinner never came in contact with Obama.
This revelation comes just hours after the Secret Service took responsibility for the breech. Director Mark Sullivan told the AP that his agency failed to verify whether the couple was invited to the party and expressed his deep concern and embarrassment. He went on to say that measures have been taken to ensure this will not happen again.
Despite that, the Secret Service has not ruled out bringing charges against Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The agency maintains they were not on the guest list despite protestations from the couple, who are auditioning for the Bravo reality show “The Real Housewives of DC”, that they did not crash the party.
“As this moves closer to a criminal investigation there’s less that we can say,” spokesman Jim Mackin said. “I don’t want to jeopardize what could be a criminal investigation. We’re not leaving any option off the table at this point.”
No specific charges were mentioned but the Salahis lawyer, Paul Gardner, claims the couple were indeed invited and that there is no risk of punishment. He posted a comment on Facebook saying, “My clients were cleared by the White House, to be there.”