The director of the Secret Service told Congress, "I take responsibility" for the fame-seeking, aspiring reality TV show couple that managed to get into the Obamas' first State Dinner without an invitation. Director Mark Sullivan added, "Pure and simple, this is a human error,. We could have had the best technology. ... But that still would not have prevented this from happening."
The agents that allowed Michaele and Tareq Salahi into the event were put on leave. However, there's criticism that White House social secretary Desiree Rogers should have had a staffer at the entrance, to help the Secret Service check and make sure only invited guests were allowed entrance. The Post notes that Rogers was "named as an invited guest rather than a staffer" at the event—President Ford's social secretary Maria Downs said, "I never sat down at a state dinner because I was always too busy taking care of what needed to be taken care of. You are there all through the dinner, mingling with the guests, taking care of their needs, but you weren't a guest."
The White House "invoked separation of powers" to prevent Rogers from testifying in front of Congress about the snafu. But deputy chief of staff Jim Messina admitted, "After reviewing our actions, it is clear that the White House did not do everything we could have done to assist the United States Secret Service in ensuring that only invited guests enter the complex. White House staff were walking back and forth outside between the check points helping guests and were available to the Secret Service throughout the evening, but clearly we can do more, and we will do more."
The Salahis had insisted they were invited to the dinner, but e-mails between them and a Pentagon aide who was trying to help them gain access (but ultimately told them they weren't invited) show they arrived at the dinner "to just check in, in case it got approved since we didn't know, and our name was indeed on the list!"