President Obama has “absolute confidence” in the Secret Service, even as the agency tasked with his personal security faces another round of accusations about sexual misconduct.
Whistleblowers told the Senate Homeland Security Committee this week that Secret Service agents engaged in sexual misconduct in 17 different countries in recent years, putting a cloud over an agency besieged by controversy of late.
“The president has absolute confidence in the leadership at the Secret Service,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday, refusing to discuss individual cases under investigation.
The new allegations come a year after the Secret Service was embroiled in a scandal over its agents soliciting prostitutes in Colombia while doing advance work for an Obama trip.
The Washington Post reported earlier this week that two male supervisors were removed from the president's protective detail for sending sexually explicit emails to a female agent. Ignacio Zamora Jr., one of the agents in question, led the investigation into the Colombia scandal.
The Secret Service vowed to foster a culture of accountability at the agency.
“The Secret Service takes allegations of improper behavior seriously and works diligently to investigate and resolve issues,” agency spokesman Ed Donovan said in a statement. “Any misconduct is regrettable, but when it is identified, appropriate action is always taken based on established rules and regulations.”