A House Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Monday "anybody who has watched a spy movie" knows why the Secret Service agents involved in the brewing Columbia prostitution scandal erred.
"The risk associated with this behavior of the Secret Service is unbelievable," Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) told MSNBC. "Anybody who has watched a spy movie knows you go in with the girls, you plant the bugs, you compromise the agents. What were these guys thinking?"
According to multiple media reports, nearly a dozen Secret Service agents — who were part of the advance team and not on President Obama's detail — were pulled out of Colombia ahead of the president's visit after reportedly bringing prostitutes back to their hotel. Although prostitution is legal within the country, the agency said their actions put the president's safety at risk.
On Saturday, Obama said he would be angry if an investigation found the allegations to be true.
“When we travel, we have to observe the highest standards. We’re not just representing ourselves. We’re here on behalf of our people,” Obama said.
Farenthold linked the scandal to the controversy surrounding a lavish Las Vegas conference put on by the General Services Administration, arguing the events demonstrated systematic issues with government employees.
"Are we developing a culture within the government that values and dollars don't matter anymore?" Farenthold said.
The Texas congressman went on to say that even if employees didn't break laws in their actions, they violated expectations.
"They certainly broke common sense. Common sense says you just don't do that," Farenthold said.