Las Vegas: Tareq and Michaele Salahi looked every bit the celebrity couple. But even in Vegas, their status was just as strange and nebulous as it is in Washington.
The Salahis were the paid hosts of a party at the Caesars Palace nightclub on Saturday night, but the event felt in no way like a celebration of the alleged White House crashers, The Politico reports.
There was no grand entrance. No red carpet. At one point, the DJ stopped the music to let the Salahis say a few words — a move greeted by intermittent booing. Many in the crowd couldn’t place the Salahi name.
Inside their VIP area, however, the Salahis beamed and held court. Sitting on a white leather couch, Tareq Salahi spoke to POLITICO with a careful, conspiratorial air. What really happened on the evening of the state dinner hasn’t been reported, he said: “Dig deeper”.
Tareq, dressed in a white suit, said he couldn’t reveal too much: The couple is still under contract with Bravo and subject to an ongoing investigation. But that didn’t really slow him down.
"We first heard that we were on CNN the day following the dinner. We were shocked," Tareq said. "We drove over to our friend`s house to watch it on television, and we were speechless. Crashers? What? It made us want to turn around and drive back to the White House and ask them what was going on."
Michaele added, "It has been difficult, but you find out what really matters."
He also said the authorities have the proper documents to prove their innocence: cell phone records and the Bravo network`s videos from the evening taken while getting ready for the event at the Erwin Gomez salon.
"All you hear is the negative things about us ... there is a reason why the White House isn`t pushing the story," Tareq said.
The Salahis will soon have a chance to explain their story to Congress. On Wednesday, January 20, the couple is scheduled to appear before the House Homeland Security Committee. But they say they plan to invoke the Fifth Amendment.
To clear the air, the Salahis plan to hold a press conference the day of the hearing. He advised that people should "pay close attention to" what they say.