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Gate-crasher 'screw up' won't be repeated: Obama

[ 2009-12-15 13:01]     字号 [] [] []  
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WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said no more uninvited guests will be getting into the White House after an embarrassing security lapse that allowed a pair of gate-crashers to slip into his first state dinner.

"I was unhappy with everybody who was involved in the process. And so, it was a screw up. ... It won't happen again," Obama said on CBS's "60 Minutes" program on Sunday.

The US Secret Service, the agency responsible for protecting the president and his family, has taken the blame for letting the Virginia couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, into the Nov 24 state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh without an invitation.

Obama, who was photographed smiling and shaking hands with Michaele Salahi at the event, said he was angry when he found out the two had crashed the dinner, but shed no new light on how they got past security.

"What I know is what everybody knows, which is that these people should not have gotten through the gate," Obama said.

Some Republicans have said White House social secretary Desiree Rogers could have prevented the incident by stationing someone from her office at the gate with the Secret Service agents. Asked if he was unhappy with Rogers, Obama said he was unhappy with everybody involved in the lapse.

The House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee voted last week to subpoena the Salahis to testify before the panel on Jan 20.

The couple contended in a television interview that they were invited guests. But they are expected at the hearing to invoke their constitutional right against self-incrimination.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Gate-crasher 'screw up' won't be repeated: Obama

About the broadcaster:

Gate-crasher 'screw up' won't be repeated: Obama

Linda Kennedy is a presenter and writer. She has reported and commented extensively on BBC TV, and was a correspondent for "News at Ten" on ITV. She also wrote a column for The Scotsman newspaper.