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December 3rd, 2009
06:44 PM ET

Evening Buzz: W.H. Security Breach Investigation

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The White House is coming under fire for not having its social planner testify at a congressional hearing today on the state dinner security breach.

The ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, New York Rep. Peter King, addressed the panel's Democratic Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson.

"This was a bipartisan request, Mr. Chairman. A bipartisan request to the White House which prides itself in being open, which prides itself on cooperation – but in this instance they are stonewalling. And for our committee to work with the White House there has to be an element of trust. They have breached that trust, " King said.

Do you agree? Should White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers have been at the hearing?

Thompson said he didn't think Rogers had to testify, since the hearing focused on security issues.

Rogers wasn't the only no-show. Tareq and Michaele Salahi who are accused of crashing the state dinner last month also stayed away.

"Maybe they didn't show because they were on the guest list," joked Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Arizona.

But Thompson isn't laughing over the Salahis skipping the Q-and-A session. He said they will subpoena the couple to try to get them to testify on another date.

The one person who did show up on Capitol Hill was Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.

"In this case, I fully acknowledge that proper procedures were not followed and human error occurred in the execution of our duties. This flaw has not changed our agency standard which is to be right 100-percent of the time," Sullivan said.

That was met by some anger from another Republican on the committee, who wanted to hear from the White House Social Secretary.

"I am very impressed by your willingness to take responsibility for this incident. But, you know, I never, ever expected, you know, we always expect the Secret Service to take a bullet for the president. We don't expect the Secret Service to take a bullet for the president's staff," said Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania.

We'll have the latest on this story, including new insight on Mrs. Salahi's claim she was a Washington Redskins cheerleader.

Join us at 10 p.m. ET on CNN. See you then!


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Bryan

    Doesn't the White House have the best technology in the world to protect the president??? The casino in my city has facial recognition so when a problem gambler, or a banned patron enters the casino security is immediately notified and dispatched to intercept and escort these people off of the premises.

    Wouldn't the White House have photos of the all people working, and invited to this party??

    I just can't believe that someone like this could get so close to your president.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Dean

    Thank you for addressing the double standard of 'Crashergate'...the White House social organizer should be asked questions!!

    December 3, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  3. Jeremiah

    This couple should get punished by not covering them in the news. I know that they love getting the attention from this, this is a publicity stunt that is working

    December 3, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  4. Lance Gayhart Lexington, KY

    Republicans just want to grill the White House Social Secretary to see what determines who gets invited, and what connections they have to the president, to dig up and perpetuate dirt. Period.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  5. Elaine Smith

    Bottom line – let's get back to manners! These people did not receive a written invitation, did not have one to present at the entrance and had no business crashing the party!

    December 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  6. Diane Boyce

    I'll be the first to admit that I have not followed this story completely ... with that said, I do have an observation I believe is worth sharing. Is it possible that we could look at this security breach as a "blessing in disguise"? If it is really that easy to get that close to the President of theUnited States - maybe there is an important lesson to be learned here.
    At least the couple who crashed the White House dinner were not people who wanted to harm the President, or anyone else attending the dinner. Maybe we should be thanking the "crashing couple" for bringing this to our attention. Now we know there is a problem, and now it can be dealt with. Much better than what could have happened if in the same situation the people crashing the dinner had evil intentions.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm |