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November 27, 2009

Secret Service: Crashers posed no danger to Obama

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service maintains that President Barack Obama was never in danger at a state dinner after an uninvited Virginia couple got through security, but it wouldn't comment on whether anyone is screened for radiological or biological weapons.



Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said Thursday the agency doesn't discuss the levels of security screening at the White House.



Donovan had said earlier that Michaele and Tareq Salahi went through the same security screening for weapons as the 300-plus people invited to the dinner Tuesday for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.



Michaele Salahi's hairdresser at the Georgetown salon where she scheduled a last-minute appointment hours before the dinner said she asked to look at the invitation to the White House event, but never saw it.



"She was so excited. She told me that she got it in the mail and it was just an amazing feeling and they couldn't wait and in fact they called the White House, I believe, to make sure that she was going to be dressed appropriately," Peggy Ioakim told CBS' "The Early Show" on Friday. Salahi wore a red sari to the dinner.



Bravo Media, meanwhile, confirmed that on the day of the dinner Michaele Salahi was being filmed around Washington and while she prepared for the dinner by a film crew connected with the network's reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C.," because she is being considered for the upcoming TV program.



"Half Yard's cameras were not inside the White House. They filmed the couple preparing for the event," Johanna Fuentes, Bravo Media's vice president, communications, said in an e-mail late Thursday. She said the Salahis "informed Half Yard that they were invited (to the dinner), the producers had no reason to believe otherwise."

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