The director of the U.S. Secret Service acknowledged to a House committee Thursday that “appropriate procedures were not followed” when an apparently uninvited Virginia couple entered the White House before a state dinner last week.
Mark Sullivan, testifying at a Homeland Security Committee hearing, said a preliminary investigation has been completed, and the guards involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
“I regret … that established protocols and procedure were not followed,” he said. He called the breach that occurred at the White House entry checkpoint unacceptable and indefensible.
The couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, contend that they did not crash the dinner to honor India’s prime minister. The White House has said they were not invited.
The Salahis didn’t accept an invitation to testify at the hearing. The panel also invited White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers to appear, but committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, said the White House indicated Wednesday that she wouldn’t. Rogers’ office planned the dinner.