House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said today that the incident in which a delusional reality show couple crashed a state dinner could have ended in a “night of horror.”
Tareq and Michaele Salahi declined to appear at a hearing about the incident, but Thompson indicated that the panel was prepared to subpoena the couple to “compel their appearance.” The Salahis’ publicist Mahogany Jones responded to the request to appear in an evasive manner rapidly becoming characteristic for the fame-whoring couple:
The Salahis believe “there is nothing further that they can do to assist Congress in its inquiry regarding White House protocol and certain security procedures,” the statement said. “They therefore respectfully decline to testify.”
In the wake of the breach, Thompson also says that the security agents responsible for admitting the Salahis have been placed on administrative leave and that “appropriate action” to address their role the in the now widely exposed security breach. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan also revealed that security detail did not become aware of the break until the Salahis posted pictures on Facebook the following day:
Mr. Sullivan surprised the panel when he revealed the federal security agency did not become aware of the breach until the next day, when they saw the couple’s photos from the event posing with the president, posted on their public Facebook account.
At least three agents have been put on leave while the matter is investigated. The Salahis are also facing a formal investigation in Virginia in relation to their fundraising activities.