The Salahi White House-Crashing Timeline, Including Ambiguous Evite!
It seems like only yesterday that Tareq and Michaele Salahi were lamenting to Matt Lauer that their "lifetime memory" of attending last week's White House state dinner had been destroyed by false media reports that they had entered uninvited. Perhaps because it was yesterday that the rumored cast members of Real Housewives of Washington D.C. claimed to have e-mail proof of invitation, even as White House officials repeatedly said otherwise, and millions of Americans wondered "since when does the White House send out evites?" Well today, the surprising e-mail evidence surfaced, proving that the Salahis had been right about a few things. So throw on your bright red sari and allow Movieline to escort you through the Salahi White House-Crashing timeline.
The Salahis did have e-mails proving that their Pentagon contact, Michele S. Jones, was trying to get them into the State Dinner. As the e-mail chain progresses though, it becomes clear that Jones was unable to get them tickets, and left Tareq voicemails to confirm that the couple did not have invitations. Tareq responded later in the exchange that he had never received the message since his "phone battery had died." Classic! "Unaware" that they did were not officially welcome, the couple dressed for the event and appeared at the White House gates promptly at 6:30 P.M. on November 24, with cameras in tow, in case Jones had come through. Here, with the help of several reports by Gawker, the Associated Press and NBC News, the believed events.
In the four days before the state dinner, the Salahis contacted Michele S. Jones, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a Pentagon-based White House liaison, hoping she could get them into the event. Salahi's e-email signature described him as United States Team Captain for America's Polo Cup and touts "India vs. USA -- World Cup 2010," an event to be hosted in Washington, D.C., next June.
Jones responded, asking for the couple's Social Security numbers and other data necessary for security clearance for a different event:
"Hopefully I can get tickets for the Arrival Ceremony...The State Dinner is completely closed and has been for awhile. As soon as I know, I will contact you."
Three minutes later, Salahi replied, showing that he understood they were invited to the Arrival Ceremony:
"Hi Michele. Thank you for this. ... We are honored to take part of the Arrival Ceremony."
Jones emailed Salahi to say that the state dinner ticket "doesn't seem likely."
Salahi responded with a list of guests he knew would not be making the event, suggesting that there was room for them.
Jones emailed Salahi saying she still had not procured tickets:
"The arrival ceremony (was scheduled to be outdoors) was canceled due to inclement weather...They are having a very small one inside the WH, very limited space. I am still working on tickets for tonight's dinner. I will call or e-mail as soon as I get word one way or another."
Later that day, Jones called the cell phone number Salahi had provided her, and left a voicemail saying that the Salahis were not invited.
Bravo cameras reportedly followed the Salahis all afternoon, up until the couple arrived at the White House gate promptly at 6:30 PM. The couple later said that there was an invitation for them at the gate. The White House released a statement saying otherwise.
Early the next morning dinner, Salahi emailed Jones, thanking her the nonexistent invitation:
"My cell phone battery died early this evening while we were in D.C. from our country home [...] We ended up going to the gate to check in at 6:30 p.m. to just check, in case it got approved, since we didn't know, and our name was indeed on the list! [...] We are very grateful, and God bless you. We just got home, and we had a very wonderful evening as you can imagine!"
"You are most welcome. I hear the smile in your e-mail. Am delighted you and Michaele had a wonderful time."
The Salahis appeared on The Today Show.
Bravo released a statement saying Michaele has not officially been cast for the Housewives of Washington D.C..
The Salahis were spotted in Georgetown attending a photo shoot with the other Housewives members.
Gawker reported that the Salahi White House crash will be the subject of the first season finale and that Bravo cameras have been following the Salahis since September.