Senator Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa), asked the head of the Secret Service if the agency reserved rooms or shared them with White House staff members for operational matters. Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is apparently attempting to link the White House with the recent scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes in Colombia.
“It is preposterous to politicize the Secret Service,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who apparently doesn’t understand the Secret Service itself has already done that.
The U.S. Secret Service, the agency charged with providing security for the nation’s top political officials, has placed 11 of its agents on administrative leave. The agents were in Colombia preparing for President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit there. It is alleged that they hired prostitutes.
“This is outrageous!” one member of Congress said. “Here we are in the midst of the worst economy in decades, when all of us in government are cutting back on our expenditures on prostitutes, and these Secret Service agents are catching South American coochie on the taxpayers’ dime?”
But the Service’s Assistant Director Paul Morrissey played-down the incident: “This is standard operating procedure, ever since the Kennedy administration. You never know when the President or a member of his party might want to pull-down some local tail, and we’ve got to make sure none of it is concealing any improvised explosive devices.”