Obama: Expect No More White House Gate-Crashers

The Salahis said they will invoke their Fifth Amendment right

Sunday, Dec 13, 2009  |  Updated 11:21 PM EDT
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host the State Dinner in the State Dining Room of the White House Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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President Barack Obama says the White House gate-crashers got in through a "screw-up," he's unhappy with everyone involved and it won't happen again.

"What I know is what everybody knows, which is that these people should not have gotten through the gate," Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview airing Sunday night.

The House Homeland Security Committee authorized subpoenas last week for the Virginia couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, to testify about how they made it into the White House without an invitation to a state dinner Nov. 24 honoring India's prime minister. The Salahis have said they will invoke their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions in their appearance.

The director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, has said normal security protocols weren't followed and three uniformed Secret Service officers have been placed on administrative leave.

"I was unhappy with everybody who was involved in the process," Obama said in the interview.

"And so, it was a screw-up." He added that the incident was not even "the fifth or sixth most important thing that happened this week, although it got the most news."

The president answered "yes," when asked whether he was "seriously angry" about the intrusion. "That's why it won't happen again.

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