Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the infamous couple dubbed the White House Gatecrashers, are demanding the White House apologize to them for the embarrassing State Dinner fiasco last November.
Watch our exclusive video interview here on RadarOnline.com
In a brand new interview about the incident that created a national security scandal and cost presidential Social Secretary Desiree Rogers her job, the Salahis have also exclusively told RadarOnline.com the congressional investigation on Capitol Hill was a “charade” and a waste of tax-payer dollars.
“It would be nice if somebody apologized to us and for (the White House) to call it quits,” Tareq Salahi, along with his wife Michaele, told RadarOnline.com.
“I would certainly not treat anyone this way that comes to my house, even if there was a question about an invitation, or there was some miscommunication… I would still welcome anyone and be gracious.”
Said Michaele: “The American way is to love people.”
The couple also revealed they’ve received numerous death threats following the incident that set off a firestorm over security at the White House. The Salahi’s earned their White House Gatecrashers nickname because they were able to enter the dinner for the Indian Prime Minister without invitations.
In one disturbing incident after that event, Michaele said she received a package at their Virginia home containing a used condom.
“It’s been painful, it’s been upsetting that we can’t speak on the truth and the facts,” Tareq said. “We have a lot inside of us that we want to get out.
“It is a totally different life now and is really impossible to describe.
“We have received 70-30 (percent) positive-negative… 30 who think it was a stunt to become famous and it wasn’t,” added Michaele. “That’s 100 percent not the case.”
To the embarrassment of the White House and the Secret Service, the Salahis shook hands with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, without having a formal invitation or their names on the official guest list, the White House has said.
While the couple have maintaned that they didn’t crash the bash — the administration’s first state dinner — they still have not yet produced evidence that will categorically exonerate them from the allegation.
When asked point-blank whether or not they had been explicitly invited to the White House state dinner, Tareq told RadarOnline.com: “Without a doubt, there is no question that we were extended an invitation.
“Nobody realized this but we were asked for our social security number, our date of birth, our full legal name and our citizenship for clearance for the White House state dinner. Not for a breakfast. Not for a VIP tour. Not for a luncheon. Specifically, in writing, for the White House state dinner evening activities.
“We did not go back and say here is our information. They asked us for our information so the Secret Service could vet us.
“We provided that to our entertainment lawyer and we copied our White House contact, on that information, that they requested. Nobody knows that and nobody has bothered to ask us about that, except for the Secret Service investigation.”
The couple repeatedly took the Fifth Amendment before a congressional committee on Capitol Hill in January, because as Tareq said, they’d been “declared guilty” before even entering the room. Their interview with RadarOnline.com sheds new light on the escapade.
The couple also:
- Revealed a senior White House official, who they won’t name, invited them to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, during a conversation that took place at the dinner.
- Fingered top Pentagon official Michelle S. Jones, special assistant to the Secretary of Defense, who serves as the Pentagon’s White House liaison, as the source who invited them to the event. Ms Jones has flatly denied she promised them admittance.
- Confirmed their ties with Jones, who they met through participation in America’s Polo Cup events.
- For the first time, confirmed they will return to the spotlight in the form of a reality television series, understood to be the upcoming Bravo series Real Housewives of D.C.
“When we walked into Congress, a lot of people asked, ‘Were you nervous?’ I will tell you for the first time, we were strong and confident and if anything we were angry that they were calling us before Congress wasting taxpayers money for this charade,” Tareq said.
“If they really had serious interest in protection of the President and really believed there was a concern, they should have spoken to our attorney, through an attorney proffer, but they decided they wanted to have this spectacle.”
The Salahis invited RadarOnline.com into their Virginia farmhouse, where they posed in the same outfits they wore to the State Dinner.
They also showed RadarOnline.com — for the first time — their vast collection of memorabilia in a bid to prove their ties to the Beltway social scene, before the scandal erupted. It includes a library of images, in which they posed for photographs alongside former President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and his son, Prince Harry and talk show host Jay Leno.
In one letter, the couple received a hand-signed note from President George W. Bush, in which he congratulated them on their wedding.
“The commitment you will make to each other symbolizes your enduring devotion,” President Bush wrote, on October 14, 2003. “By taking the vows of marriage, you will demonstrate the importance of love and family. May the joy you share be a source of great inspiration and strength throughout the years. Laura joins me in sending best wishes for every future happiness.”
“There’s no question we have been misjudged,” Tareq said.
“We didn’t want to quickly say what we had done in our past and what we are still involved in, as we didn’t feel that would have been politically the right option.
“Maybe looking back, perhaps we should have done some of that because people were misinformed and misjudged us accordingly, because they couldn’t hear from us.”
Michaele is set to appear in the upcoming Bravo reality series Real Housewives of D.C. and the network’s cameras were there as the couple prepared for the state dinner.
But Tareq insisted he and Michaele were not auditioning for the series, as was first reported in the aftermath of the incident. Instead, he said, both he and his wife had already been cast in the reality spin-off and filming had been underway for some time.
Bravo has not set an air date for the series.
“We were not asked by any network or any cable affiliate to do that and we were not auditioning for any show,” Tareq said.
The Salahis are about to embark on a national media tour to promote the series, which will begin with an interview on Inside Edition this week and with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show, on May 25.
The couple also plans to write a 500-page book about their experience and release a Salahi action figure and costumes in time for Halloween.