Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who got in uninvited to last week’s White House state dinner, gave their first interview to NBC’s “Today” show and insisted that they “we did not party-crash the White House," the Associated Press reports.
Tareq Salahi called the uproar surrounding the couple a "most devastating" experience, and predicted that they would be exonerated once the investigation is complete. They are cooperating with the Secret Service, he said. Michaele Salahi said they had been "shocked and devastated" when they saw the reaction the day after the dinner.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told “Today” that “This wasn’t a misunderstanding. You don’t show up at the White House as a misunderstanding."
MSNBC reports that the couple insisted that they were invited by a Washington law firm with ties to senior Pentagon official Michele S. Jones, special assistant to the Secretary of Defense who serves as the Pentagon’s White House liaison. Jones says she exchanged e-mails with the Salahis about the state dinner but denies she promised them admittance.
The Salahis also said they had not discussed accepting money for telling their story and weren’t paid by NBC.