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Salahis were not on guest list for 2nd State Dinner

Salahi couple gatecrashed into White House when Obama hosted 1st State Dinner.



Washington: The White House has confirmed that the Salahi couple, who were stopped by the Secret Service from making into US President Barack Obama`s Second State Dinner in honour of his Mexican counterpart, were "not on the guest list" for the event.

"I heard about this last evening. I shook my head. Once again, the Salahis were not on the guest list. At some point, that would provide a hint as to the degree to which you should show up," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said when asked about the latest episode of the Virginia couple being stopped near the White House.

"I am reminded that it seems to me like their 15 minutes of fame were up almost six months ago," Gibbs told reporters at his daily press conference.

It was not clear, whether the Salahi couple, who gatecrashed into the White House on November 24 when Obama hosted his first State Dinner in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, intended to do so this time again.

US Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said the limousine in which the Salahis were riding ran through a red light around 8 pm a few blocks away from the White House.

The limousine was stopped by the Secret Service as the driver had signalled to turn into restricted areas near the Ellipse.

A uniformed Secret Service Officer identified the couple inside the limousine as the Salahis. The couple were soon released by the Secret Service, following which the Salahis went to a dinner a few blocks away from the White House.

The driver of the limousine was issued an infraction for running the red light.

The Salahis were not available for any comment.

The Virginia couple came into limelight last year when they entered the White House without any invitation and attended the State Dinner hosted by Obama for Prime Minister Singh.

"I have no information that they were trying to get in. I think the Service has talked about stopping a car that had been seen repeatedly in the area," Gibbs said.

White House correspondents were quick to point out the joke that Obama cracked off at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner early this month about the Salahis.

But didn`t the President make them feel unwelcome at the Correspondents` Association Dinner with his comments, Gibbs was asked.

"Well, if every time somebody makes a joke about somebody they take it that personally, I don`t know whether he made them feel uncomfortable. He hasn`t invited them to come to the White House. I don`t know if that`s a level of discomfort that would chagrin them from attempting to come here," the official said.

PTI

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