National

Dec 1, 2009 11:34 AM by Associated Press

Salahi denies that he and wife were gate-crashers

The couple who got into last week's state dinner without being on the guest list insist that they're not gatecrashers.

Tareq Salahi says he and his wife Michaele didn't crash the White House dinner for India's prime minister. He told NBC's "Today" show they are devastated by what they've been through in the aftermath of that dinner, and are cooperating with the Secret Service.

As for the report that they also crashed a Congressional Black Caucus dinner a month earlier, the Salahis are denying that as well. They say they got an invitation to that event from the Gardner Law group of Baltimore. Their lawyer is Paul Gardner, a managing partner of the firm, which handles corporate and entertainment law.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scoffs at the suggestion that a "misunderstanding" may have led the Salahis to think they were invited to the state dinner. Gibbs says, "You don't show up at the White House as a misunderstanding."

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