Video: Lawmakers call for Rogers testimony

  1. Closed captioning of: Lawmakers call for Rogers testimony

    >> representative peter king is the top-ranking republican on the homeland security , representative sanchez , a democrat from california, is also a member of that committee. good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> representative sanchez , let me start with you. mr. sullivan testified for about three hours before that committee on thursday. he answered an awful lot of questions. are you done with it?

    >> well, first of all, i thought maybe we shouldn't have even had this, but in realizing that this was about the president, about another head of state, about some very important people in that white house , it is about a security breach , and i believe that the secret service does a great job. that's why i was so astounded that someone could get into the white house like that. from my standpoint, i think it's probably ended, although i know that the chairman, chairman thompson, of our committee is wanting to issue subpoenas to the couple to come before us and to get their side of the story.

    >> yeah, what about that, congressman king? a subpoena. so, you want to see the salahis in front of this committee. i mean, the head of the secret service said, no, this is -- i'm paraphrasing here -- this is our fault. you want to blame somebody, blame us, end of story. you don't buy that?

    >> first of all, i'm not that concerned with the salahis. they show up, fine. but i think it is important to have desiree rogers there, because in his testify yesterday, even though he did take the bullet, director sullivan said the security arrangements are worked out with the social secretary's office, and at every dinner we've been able to track and every major event to the white house for at least the last 20 years, the social secretaries are always there with the secret service agents. she decided to pull them away. we want to know why and what will happen in the future.

    >> and you said the white house is stone-walling here. what do you think they're trying to hide?

    >> i sdpoerdon't know. why won't they testify? why did they tell the secret service they wouldn't have somebody standing there in those spots? if somebody had been standing there from the office like in the past, this wouldn't have happened.

    >> representative sanchez , would you like the opportunity to talk to desiree rogers, either in front of your committee or in private?

    >> i would certainly like to hear from her what steps are being taken to ensure that in fact there is not only a secret service agent there with the list, but there is somebody always there from the white house . because the white house , especially her department or for us in the congress, the legislative department, they know us, they can help the secret service agent. they can streamline that. if there's a problem, they can take care of it there, and it just makes sense when you come to one of the most important places on earth that there be somebody to greet them. i mean, even walmart has a greeter. so you know, i would like to hear from her.

    >> congressman king, the white house says, basically, there's got to be an ability for staffers to deal with the president with confidentiality. they say, okay, if this were a case of watergate or whitewater, that's a different situation. does the white house state dinner party crashing rise to that level?

    >> it's not the party crashing , it's the security of the president of the united states . when valerie jarrett, for instance, says this is not that important an issue, i don't know what's more important than the security of the president of the united states . and this is not a policy. this is not afghanistan or health care or cap-and-trade. this is strictly a personnel decision.

    >> and i'll let you, representative sanchez , have the last word here. at no time yesterday during his testimony did mr. sullivan say anything like the salahis lied to secret service agents or misrepresented themselves. we know they showed their own passport. is this story over for them, in your opinion, or is there still a chance, you think that they might face some criminal charges?

    >> i would imagine, especially given their former -- some of the issues that we've heard, being on the redskins cheerleader squad , impersonating, other issues, i would imagine that they'd better lawyer up, because if there are laws that they've broken, then i would believe our secret service and law enforcement would go after them.

    >> representative loretta sanchez and congressman king, thank you very much. let's get the rest of

updated 12/4/2009 10:24:59 AM ET 2009-12-04T15:24:59

A House Democrat says someone from the White House social secretary's office should have helped the Secret Service clear people into last week's state dinner, saying "even Walmart has a greeter."

Continuing a 10-day uproar over the security breach last Tuesday, Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California told NBC's "Today" show she believes Congress has a right to hear social secretary Desiree Rogers explain how a Virginia couple got into the state dinner without invitations.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, joined Sanchez in demanding Rogers' testimony on Friday, a day after Secret Service director Mark Sullivan took responsibility for the incident in an appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee.

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


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