Jay Carney: Obama 'Has Faith in' Secret Service Despite Issues

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 08:48 PM

By Jason Devaney

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In the wake of a second incident involving Secret Service agents' being disciplined for drinking, President Barack Obama still has confidence in the agency.

Obama "has faith in and enormously appreciates the remarkable work that the Secret Service does," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday, reports The Hill.

More than a week ago, three Secret Service agents were sent home from Amsterdam for violating the agency's rules on alcohol use. Obama arrived in the country the next day. The three were reportedly part of the Counter Assault Team, an elite unit tasked with responding to an attack on the president or his motorcade.

The three agents were sent home "for disciplinary reasons," spokesman Ed Donovan told the Washington Post at the time.

The incident followed a 2012 scandal in Cartenga, Colombia, in which 12 members of the Secret Service were caught drinking and in the presence of prostitutes.

New rules were implemented after that, which included prohibiting any member of the agency from drinking alcohol 10 hours before starting a shift while on an official trip.

Julia Pierson stepped in as the agency's new director last March and has tried to clean up its image.

"I can tell you that the president expects that anyone traveling on behalf of the United States must observe only the highest standards, and the president fully supports Director Pierson's tougher new guidelines and the agency's efforts to ensure that all personnel abide by them," Carney said Monday.

"So, obviously, when it comes to occasions when someone working for that agency fails to meet the high standards that are set and the director has imposed, appropriate action needs to be taken, and the president supports that effort.

"Incidents like this notwithstanding, people only think about the Secret Service when, you know, something more serious happens. And the fact that they do their job so well and do it professionally has to be noted," Carney said.

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