White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama retains confidence in the Secret Service, as well as Julia Pierson, its new director, after the agency suffered another embarrassing incident last week.
A day ahead of Obama's arrival in the Netherlands the weekend of March 22, a 34-year-old junior agent passed out drunk in a hotel hallway and had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees.
The agency, which is still trying to recover from a drinking-and-prostitution scandal that took place two years ago during a presidential trip to Colombia, suffered another blow in early March when two counter-sniper officers suspected of drinking were involved in a car accident during a presidential trip to Miami.
Asked about the incident Monday, Carney said the president believes that “anyone traveling overseas on behalf of the United States needs to hold himself or herself to the highest standards.”
He also stressed that Obama “has faith in and enormously appreciates the work the Secret Service does.”
“They perform an important duty on behalf of our country ... and they do an exemplary job,” he said.
“Obviously, when it comes to occasions when someone working for that agency fails to meet the high standards, appropriate action needs to be taken, and the president supports that action,” he added.
Speaking specifically about Pierson, Carney said Obama has confidence in her and appreciates the tougher new guidelines and ethics training she has instituted.