President Barack Obama came out firing on Sunday, calling for a “rigorous” and “thorough” probe into 11 Secret Service officers assigned to protect him in a trip to Colombia. The dismissal of those officers due to allegations involving soliciting prostitutes — and the lewd details that have followed — have overshadowed Obama’s trip to a 33-country summit in Colombia.
Obama said he would wait until the review of the 11 officers and five members of the military is complete, but he blasted the officers and the agency based on what has been reported thus far.
Some excerpts from his press conference, per CNN:
“I expect that investigation to be thorough and I expect it to be rigorous. If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.”
“We’re representing the people of the United States and when we travel to another county I expect us to observe the highest standards. Obviously, what’s been reported doesn’t match up with those standards.”
Obama is angry because the scandal has caused embarrassment throughout his weekend Summit of the Americas. And it has completely overshadowed the diplomatic purposes of the summit in general. Many, including Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, thought it was supposed to be an opening for Obama to make inroads with Hispanic voters with ties to the countries.
Meanwhile, other important lawmakers weighed in on the scandal, as well. U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who is the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said his committee would be performing a full investigation.
“My committee is going to be investigating exactly how this happened, why it happened, how to prevent it from happening in the future,” King told CBS.
And Darrell Issa, a Republican and chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he doubted only 11 members of the Secret Service were involved.
“We think the number might be higher, and we’re asking for the exact amount of all the people who were involved,” Issa said. “How did this happen, and how often has this happened before? Is the whole organisation in need of some soul-searching?“
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