Obama 'has confidence' in Secret Service chief

Secret Service chief Mark Sullivan Secret Service chief Mark Sullivan Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP file photo

President Obama remains confident in the director of the Secret Service, who is investigating the alleged misconduct of 11 Secret Service members and 10 U.S. military service members during their stay in Colombia, the White House said on Tuesday.

Speaking to a group of reporters, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president is being continuously updated on the investigation into the misconduct, but that he trusts Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to carry out that work.

“The president has confidence in the director of the Secret Service. Director Sullivan acted quickly in response to this incident and is overseeing an investigation as we speak into the matter,” Carney said, according to a transcript released by the White House.

Carney could not give a timeline on the investigation, and he declined to comment on the potential repercussions for the Secret Service Agency until the investigation is complete. He did, however, say that the president would be “angry” if “it turns out that some of the reported allegations are true.”

“The president made clear in his public comments to those of you who were with us in Cartagena that he believes that all of us who travel abroad represent our country and the people of the United States, and that we need to behave with the utmost -- the highest levels of integrity and probity,” Carney said.

Eleven Secret Service agents were sent home from their preparation work for Obama’s visit to Cartagena due to allegations that they engaged with prostitutes. The Associated Press reports that at least 20 women could have been involved in the incident, although the men under investigation have differing explanations of what roles these women played. The Secret Service agents involved have since lost their security clearances and are currently on administrative leave.

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