Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.) is stepping back from a call for the director of the Secret Service to resign in the wake of a series of security breaches.
The Maryland Democrat spoke with Julia Pierson on Wednesday morning.
An aide to Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said after the call that Pierson must restore trust with the public and within her agency or leave the top job.
Cummings "believes that, if she can’t restore the public’s trust in the agency — and in particular address the cultural issues so agents feel comfortable raising security concerns to their higher-ups — then, of course, she should not be in that position," the aide said.
"After yesterday’s hearing, and after new revelations last night, the congressman’s trust is eroding, and he believes there needs to be an independent review of the agency.”
Cummings suggested earlier Wednesday that Pierson should resign, saying his confidence in her had "eroded," and "she has to go."
Cummings had expressed concern during an Oversight hearing on Tuesday that agents felt more comfortable bringing their concerns to members of Congress rather than to their superiors. He also said Pierson had lost public trust after the Secret Service was not completely forthright with the public about the extent of the White House security breach last month.
Following the hearing, other reports emerged that an armed security contractor with a criminal record was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.
Committee members grilled Pierson during the hearing, with lawmakers from both parties calling for an independent review of the Secret Service.
At least one other lawmaker, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), called for her resignation.