Before Salahis, There Were Plenty of Other Gate Crashers

Secret Service counts 91 uninvited guests since 1980
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 6:14 AM CST
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 file photo, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, arrive at a State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, file)

(Newser) – Tareq and Michaele Salahi are hardly the first White House gate crashers to elude the Secret Service, it turns out: There have been at least 91 of them since 1980, according to a secret report acquired by the Washington Post. White House security has been foiled by a long list of presidential admirers and publicity-seeking kooks, including a fake delivery driver, a family in a minivan, and plenty of other impostors with no weapons other than "appearing as [if] you are supposed to be there."

While most uninvited White House guests are harmless, their antics expose troubling security gaps that would-be assassins could exploit: on eight occasions since 1980, including the Salahis, intruders have reached the president or another person under Secret Service protection. Four of the incidents involved the same man—a California minister who infiltrated prayer breakfasts and an inaugural luncheon to reach Bill Clinton and both Bushes.

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