Pentagon Denies Helping Salahis Crash Dinner

Gates assistant communicated with couple, but made no promises
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 30, 2009 8:52 PM CST
President Barack Obama greets Michaele and Tareq Salahi.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The couple who crashed the Obama administration's first state dinner communicated with a senior Pentagon official about going to the event, but the official denies that she helped the couple get in. Michele Jones, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said in a written statement tonight that she never said or implied she would get Michaele and Tareq Salahi into the Nov. 24 White House event.

"I specifically stated that they did not have tickets and in fact that I did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening's activities," Jones said. "Even though I informed them of this, they still decided to come."

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