Biden: Party crashers appeared to know everyone

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 8:00 AM

Vice President Joe Biden, who posed for photos with the White House party crashers at last week's state dinner, says he didn't know the couple, but had assumed they were invited guests.

"I just assumed like everyone else they were guests. They acted like they knew everybody in the room," Biden said Wednesday in morning television interviews. They acted, Biden said, "like they were my old buddies."

Asked whether he thought the couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, should face criminal charges for attending without an invitation, Biden said: "There's an old joke: That's above my pay grade."

The couple have said they believed they were invited. The Secret Service says they weren't on the guest list and that it erred by letting them into the Nov. 24 dinner for the Indian prime minister.

Biden said he was "completely satisfied" with the Secret Service, which he said does "a great job protecting me and my family."

Biden spoke on NBC's "Today" show and CBS' "The Early Show."