Another scandal involving drunken Secret Service agents has raised questions about the behavior and oversight of the president's security detail.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who was on presidential details for President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, said on Newsmax TV that the situation is being blown out of proportion.
"The problems are being really overdramatized as some kind of a cultural epidemic issue in the Secret Service," Bongino told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Thursday. "It's nonsense."
Last weekend's incident in the Netherlands — in which three Secret Service agents went out drinking the night before a detail, and one was found passed out in the hotel hallway the next morning — is just the latest in a series of recent stumbles
That was preceded by two more minor incidents — a car crash in Miami last November that reportedly involved alcohol and alleged misconduct of a Secret Service supervisor following an encounter with a woman he met at a hotel bar.
The biggest recent black eye for the security service occurred in April, 2012 when off-duty agents brought strippers back to a hotel during a presidential trip to Colombia. Six of the 13 agents involved in that scandal retired or resigned, while four had their security clearances revoked, according to USA Today.
Bongino said the recent slip-ups by the agents involved represented "a geometric level of stupidity," particularly following the scandal in Colombia. But he said the incidents do not stem from an institutional flaw.
"Here's the bottom line: these guys work really hard, and women," Bongino said. "They're really tired of going to their kid's bus stop in the morning and answering questions about a guy who couldn't handle his booze in the Netherlands. That's why they're so angry. So yeah, is it a problem, yeah, but these are isolated incidents of extreme stupidity."
Bongino, who has become a conservative media pundit and is running for Congress in Maryland's 6th District, said the current administration's policies were taking the U.S. in the wrong direction.
"[This is a] very, very dangerous time in America," Bongino said. "Take my word for it or don't, folks, but I'm telling you I'm not going down with the ship. I'm fighting back. If you want to be a part of this because party affiliation matters to you more than anything, that's up to you. But I'm going to fight this."
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