By Justin Sink
President Obama supports a "zero-tolerance approach" to misconduct in the Secret Service, the White House said Wednesday after agents assigned to Obama’s security detail were sent home on allegations of excessive drinking.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president had been briefed about the incident.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that three Secret Service agents have been placed on administrative leave, after one was discovered drunk and passed out in the hallway of a Dutch hotel where the president was scheduled to stay.
A spokesman for the agency told The Associated Press the incident occurred before the president arrived in the Netherlands on Monday, as part of a weeklong trip through Europe and the Middle East. The spokesman said Obama's security was not compromised in any way.
The individuals were reportedly members of the service’s Counter Assault Team, which is tasked with protecting the president if he comes under attack.
The agents might face additional disciplinary action under new rules adopted following the agency’s Colombia prostitution scandal in 2012. Following that incident, the service placed new restrictions on when agents could consume alcohol while traveling on business, and 10 agents resigned or were removed from their jobs.
When the Colombian scandal was first revealed, Obama said the agents’ behavior was “unacceptable.”
“We’re representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards because we’re not just representing ourselves,” he said.
— This story was updated at 6:22 p.m.