President Obama said Sunday that he’ll be “angry” if the allegations of Secret Service agents partying and hiring prostitutes in Colombia are found to be true.
Obama was asked about the scandal during a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the conclusion of the Summit of the Americas, and about whether he felt it indicated a broader cultural problem within the agency.
“These men and women perform extraordinary service on a day-to-day basis protecting me, my family, U.S. officials,” Obama said. “They do very hard work under very stressful circumstances, and almost invariably do an outstanding job. And so I’m very grateful to the work that they do.”
He said he expects the investigation being conducted by the head of the Secret Service to be “thorough” and “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 — because my attitude with respect to the Secret Service personnel is no different than what I expect out of my delegation that’s sitting here,” Obama said. “We’re representing the people of the United States.”
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday on Fox News that his staff have launched an investigation into the incident as well.
“What happened was wrong, we have to find out why it happened, and it can’t be allowed to happen again,” King said.
“When we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards because we’re not just representing ourselves, we’re here on behalf of our people,” Obama said. “And that means that we conduct ourselves with the utmost dignity and probity. And obviously what’s been reported doesn’t match up with those standards.”
“But again, I think I’ll wait until the full investigation is completed before I pass final judgment,” the president added.