President Obama has "absolute confidence in the leadership at the Secret Service," press secretary Jay Carney said Friday, despite new reports of sexual misconduct in the agency.
"The vast majority of men and women who work for the U.S. Secret Service exemplify the highest standards of service," Carney said at his daily briefing. 'They work day and night as professionals to protect the president and presidents before him and after him. ... Issues that have arisen, including the visit to Colombia and other issues that arise, the president is confident they will be fully investigated and action where appropriate will be taken."
Carney did not directly address the details, first reported by The Washington Post, that two senior supervisors in the Secret Service's presidential protection division were removed and reassigned after being accused of sending inappropriate emails to a female subordinate. The agency discovered the improper communication after one supervisor, Ignacio Zamora Jr., created a disturbance in May at a Washington hotel while trying to retrieve a bullet he had left in the room of a woman he met at the hotel bar.
The incident comes a year after more than a dozen agents and officers were implicated in a night of heavy drinking and cavorting with foreign prostitutes on a presidential trip to Cartagena, Colombia, for an international summit. Seven months ago, Obama named Julia Pierson as the agency's first-ever female director.
"The president believes strongly that Director Pierson is the right person for the job. He has confidence in her leadership," Carney said. "I don't have specific reaction to any investigation that's ongoing or accusation that might be leveled currently, except to say the president has absolute confidence in the leadership at the Secret Service."