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State Department bussed third party crasher to State dinner

The State Department shuttled the newly revealed third State Dinner party crasher from a local Washington hotel to the White House and aided his entry, State Department sources said Thursday. The third crasher, whose existence was announced by the Secret Service Monday, snuck into a group of Indian businessmen who had been given State Department ...

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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)

The State Department shuttled the newly revealed third State Dinner party crasher from a local Washington hotel to the White House and aided his entry, State Department sources said Thursday.

The third crasher, whose existence was announced by the Secret Service Monday, snuck into a group of Indian businessmen who had been given State Department logistical assistance at the request of the Indian Embassy, a State Department official said.

The State Department shuttled the newly revealed third State Dinner party crasher from a local Washington hotel to the White House and aided his entry, State Department sources said Thursday.

The third crasher, whose existence was announced by the Secret Service Monday, snuck into a group of Indian businessmen who had been given State Department logistical assistance at the request of the Indian Embassy, a State Department official said.

"Apparently it was a group of Indian CEOs who were at this hotel. They were people who were important to us and important to the embassy, so they asked for us to facilitate their travel to the White House," the official said, adding that the third crasher was believed to be an American citizen.

It’s not common for the State Department to cart foreign businessmen around Washington, the official said, adding that it was not clear how much government resources were used.

The Secret Service released a statement Monday stating that the third crasher did gain entry to the dinner, did go through security, but did not have any interactions with President Obama.

"This is now a matter that’s under investigation, it’s a very serious ongoing criminal investigation," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Monday.

"Apparently there was a group that was under our responsibility that went from a local hotel to the White House, and there was a person that was not authorized to be in that group that inserted himself or herself into that group."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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