A third gate crasher came to Obama dinner

A third gate crasher came to Obama dinner

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) greets Michaele Salahi (C) and her husband Tareq (R) during a state dinner for India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) at the White House in this official White House photo taken November 24, 2009 and released November 27, 2009. Reuters

A third person who wasn't on the official guest list made it into the Nov 24 dinner by entering with the Indian delegation, the Secret Service announced Monday adding a new twist to the Salahi saga.

The unidentified person travelled from a local hotel, where the official Indian delegation was staying, and arrived at the dinner with the group, which was under the responsibility of the State Department, the Secret Service said in a release.

"This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House," it said.

"At present, there is nothing to indicate that this individual went through the receiving line or had contact with the president or first lady," said the Secret Service. The release does not say whether this third person was questioned or charged.

The identity of the person was not disclosed. The Secret Service statement said the person's name had not been entered into the WAVES computer system for White House visitors, while the rest of the names in the Indian delegation were in the system.

"Procedural changes have already been implemented to address foreign delegations under the responsibility of Department of State who are entering facilities secured by the Secret Service," the statement said.

The White House declined immediate comment beyond the Secret Service release.
Salahis made international headlines by crashing the Nov 24 event and having their photo taken with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other dignitaries.

The press release confirmed a report by author Ronald Kessler earlier in the day on Newsmax.com. Kessler is the author of "In the President's Secret Service," in which he argues that budget and workload constraints have led the Secret Service to begin "cutting corners" in presidential security.

In a story posted on Monday morning, Kessler wrote that that the Secret Service re-examined video of arriving guests at the Indian dinner and attempted to match the images with the guest list. "The agency spotted an African-American man wearing a tuxedo who had not been invited," Kessler wrote.

"He appeared to be with members of the Indian delegation. Checking further, agents found that a State Department official had picked him up, along with others from the Indian delegation, at the Willard InterContinental Hotel and had driven him from the hotel to the White House."

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