A lawyer for the “third gatecrasher” into US President Barack Obama’s November state dinner on Wednesday said his client was not invited to the White House by either the Indian delegation or the business leaders accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Carlos Allen, a 39-year-old entrepreneur, is alleged to be the third White House gatecrasher for the November 24 State Dinner hosted in honour of Singh, other than the attention-hungry Salahi couple. Allen’s lawyer A Scott Bolden, however, claimed that he had an invitation “mailed to him”.
The Secret Service has claimed that an “uninvited” member sneaked into the White House along with a group of Indian CEOs. Reports suggested that he boarded a bus carrying the business leaders who were last-minute invitees to the dinner.
“We deny the Indian delegation invited him. No one from the Indian business delegation invited him,” Mr. Bolden told the NBC News in an interview.
He also said it was a “coincidence” that Allen was at the hotel where the Indian delegation was staying and claimed “he (Allen) had an invite and he hopped a ride with them (CEOs).”
The Indian Embassy has also denied reports in the US media that Allen was invited by it and asserted that it did not “seek or facilitate any access” for him.
“It appears at this point that the subject travelled from a local hotel, where the official Indian delegation was staying, and arrived at the dinner with the group, which was under the responsibility of the Department of State,” the Secret Service said.
“This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House,” it said.
Claiming that his client believes that he had an invitation, Mr. Bolden argued it was a mere coincidence that he was at The Willard hotel at the same time the Indian delegation was leaving for the White House.
However, he did not give the name of who invited Allen.
“He has no idea. He had an invitation mailed to him,” the lawyer said.
Allen runs an events planning business.
“It was a pure coincidence that he was at the Willard,” Mr. Bolden said. “He had an invite and he hopped a ride with them.
There is nothing sinister about this,” he added.