By Amie Parnes - 04/25/12 05:23 PM EDT
President Obama is "angry" now that allegations against Secret Service agents hiring prostitutes on assignment in Colombia has proven to be true, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday.
"Of course he is angry about what he made clear even on Sunday in Colombia — that was inappropriate behavior, behavior that is not acceptable for people who work for the U.S. government or representing the American people abroad," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One, as Obama traveled from Colorado to Iowa.
"Ninety-nine percent of the men and women who work for the Secret Service are absolute professionals," Carney said. "It's not just about protecting an individual and his family, it's about protecting the presidency, a vital function in our democracy."
Carney's comments come as three more agents were forced to leave on Tuesday the law enforcement agency on the heels of the scandal, in which a dozen agents allegedly drank heavily and hired prostitutes ahead of Obama's trip to Colombia earlier this month.
Nine agents in total have been forced out of the agency or resigned. Three others were cleared of allegations but face administrative action, according to Secret Service Assistant Director Paul Morrissey.
The incident has become a distraction for the White House in recent days, as Carney and other aides have been forced to answer questions about the episode in Colombia.
The White House Counsel's office also launched a separate inquiry into the matter, but found that none of the White House advance staff took part in any wrongdoing.
Obama weighed in on the scandal in an interview with "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday.
"A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do," Obama said. "What these guys were thinking, I don't know. That's why they're not there anymore."
"These guys are incredible," the president added. "They protect me. They protect Michelle. They protect the girls. They protect our officials all around the world."