WASHINGTON (AP) — The couple that got into the White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister without showing invitations denied Tuesday that they were gatecrashers.

Appearing on a nationally broadcast morning news 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.

Salahi told NBC’s Today show Tuesday there’s more to their side of the story — an explanation that would exonerate them from allegations of misconduct in the breach of White House security. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, appearing on the same program, stood by the administration’s position that the Salahis had not been invited.

“This wasn’t a misunderstanding,” Gibbs said. “You don’t show up at the White House as a misunderstanding.”

For his part, Salahi said he and his wife were cooperating with the Secret Service in its investigation of the incident a week ago. And he said they both have “great respect” for President Barack Obama. [you can read more here]

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