Salahi couple try to gate-crash again

Salahi couple try to gate-crash again

(L-R) Mexican First Lady Margarita Zavala, US First Lady Michelle Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderone and US President Barack Obama pose for a photo session at the State Dinner in Washington on Wednesday. AFP

Michaele and Tareq Salahi were stopped in their limo by the Secret Service on Wednesday night a few blocks from the White House.

It was not immediately clear where the Virginia-based social climbers were heading, but officials suspect they were trying to crash another Obama state dinner - this time in honour of Mexican president Felipe Calderon. The Salahis were pulled over when their chauffeur ran a red light and signalled to turn into a restricted area, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said.

The limo driver was ticketed for running a red light and allowed to depart — with the Salahis — for destination unknown, US media reports said.The Salahis were dressed to impress - he in a snazzy suit, she in a white mink coat, officials said.

The publicity-hungry couple is under investigation for crashing Obama’s dinner for Singh on November 24 last year, even though they were not on a guest list.

They were being trailed by Bravo reality TV cameras when they slipped past the Secret Service and got inside. The fakers were even photographed doing the grip-and-grin with an unsuspecting Obama. The Secret Service didn’t realise they’d been snookered until Michaele Salahi posted photos of herself at the fete on her Facebook page.

“These people should not have gotten through the gate,” an irked Obama said later.
The Salahis stunt ultimately cost White House social secretary Desiree Rogers her job.
The dinner guest list of 200 had an ample celebrity quotient, including Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Longoria , George Lopez and Olympic speedskater Shani Davis. Goldberg said it felt like she was “coming home after a long drought.” She’d been invited frequently during Bill Clinton’s years. But not during the George W Bush years. Lopez, a comedian, joked when asked about the security. “The guy with the glove was nice,” he said.

For all of the seasoned guests who’ve been to many a state dinner, there were plenty of first-timers for whom it was a pinch-me moment.

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