Image: Salahis
Mark Wilson  /  Getty Images
Michaele and Tareq Salahi are under investigation for allegedly crashing a White House state dinner.
updated 12/1/2009 6:06:20 PM ET 2009-12-01T23:06:20

The U.S Secret Service will change some of its screening policies after an attention-hungry couple was able to crash the Obama administration's first state dinner.

A government official familiar with the plans says from now on, a staff member from the White House social office will work with the Secret Service at the gates where people check in to attend official events at the president's residence.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there is an continuing investigation into the Nov. 24 incident.

The couple who got into the White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister without invitations denied Tuesday that they were gatecrashers and said the uproar over the incident had "destroyed" their lives.

Appearing on NBC's "Today" show with his wife, Tareq Salahi said the furor surrounding his and his wife Michaele's attendance at the dinner a week ago has been a "most devastating" experience. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as angered by the incident.

Salahi said there's more to their side of the story — an explanation that would exonerate them from allegations of misconduct. Gibbs insisted the Salahis had not been invited.

"This wasn't a misunderstanding," the spokesman said. "You don't show up at the White House as a misunderstanding."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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