President Obama continues to have "faith" in the Secret Service and confidence in its director, a spokesman said after agents accused of drinking to excess were sent home from the president's trip to Europe.
"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 [Julia] Pierson's tougher new guidelines and the agency's efforts to ensure that all personnel abide by them," White House press secretary Jay 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," he added.
Earlier this month, a Secret Service agent passed out drunk in the hallway of a Dutch hotel where the president would later stay. He and two other agents were subsequently sent home and suspended.
The incident is the second major embarrassment for the agency during the president's tenure, following an alcohol and prostitution scandal two years ago ahead of a presidential trip to Colombia. The Washington Post, which first reported the Netherlands incident, also reported that two officers suspected of drinking were involved in a car accident while the president was visiting Miami earlier this month.
Pierson is slated to meet with members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Tuesday, a week after the latest incident was revealed. Pierson accompanied Obama on his week-long tour through Europe and Saudi Arabia.
Carney said he wasn't sure if Pierson and Obama had spoken about the incident, but said the agency did "a great job" on the trip.
"Incidents like this, notwithstanding, people only think about the Secret Service when, you know, something more serious happens," Carney said. "And the fact that they do their job so well and do it professionally has to be noted."