Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Sunday said a series of security breaches by the Secret Service should “alarm all Americans.”
“I think it’s very bad. And I think there’s culture that has developed, the culture of complacency – we see it with these security breaches,” Cummings said on CBS's "Face the Nation." “Morale is down. And we’ve had a series of events ... that should alarm all Americans. And certainly the question has become: Is this the Secret Service that we all thought it was? And I’m beginning to wonder about that.”
Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said the agency’s problems have been slow to develop.
“I think that based on some information we have gotten from whistleblowers, this goes back a ways. And just the information has just not come out,” he said.
Cummings called the Secret Service a “great organization,” but said areas including training and morale have to be investigated.
“It seems that we have a Secret Service that doesn’t even trust itself. And that leads to a lot of problems, and so, Miss Pierson, the director, the former director. She was kind of in a tough situations.”
Former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned last week after support began to erode on Capitol Hill.
Cummings said the problems will not end with her departure.
“This is a transformational moment. Where we’ve got to look at the Secret Service. And now we’ve got to figure this all out and get it right.”
Cummings also said he does not agree with the theory that President Obama is not being protected because he’s African America.
“We have information that this goes all the way back to the bush administration, a lot of the problems that we are talking about now. It’s just that they are coming to light. A lot of these things existed before our President Obama,” he said. “And back to the present situation, the President’s people have told me that they feel very comfortable, particularly with [Interim Director Joseph] Clancy that is now come in to take over the secret service. So he feels good about it. Most importantly, the First Lady feels very good about it.”