Pelosi shifts on Secret Service director

Pelosi shifts on Secret Service director
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNews media's sausage-making obsession helps no one Klobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-Md.) backtracked Wednesday from comments in which she supported a call for the Secret Service director to step down.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Pelosi was asked if she agreed with 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.) general comments about Secret Service Director Julia Pierson.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cummings said Pierson “had to go” in a radio interview with Roland Martin.

“If Mr. Cummings thinks she should go, I subscribe to his recommendation,” Pelosi told reporters.

But in a later interview with NPR, Cummings said he had not made a final decision. He then had a phone conversation with Pierson, and an aide to Cummins said that following the call, he believed that if Pierson could not restore confidence in the agency she “should not be in the position.”

Pelosi’s office then released a statement that again put her in line with Cummings’s position.

In the statement, her office said Pelosi agrees with Cummings that the Secret Service director should not be in her position if she can’t restore trust in the agency.

Pelosi also called for an independent investigation into the Secret Service that should be “precise” and “flawless.”

Pelosi didn’t detail what form the investigation should take, but said former Secret Service agents should be interviewed for their expertise. She suggested their recommendations should be implemented by the Secret Service.

Pelosi said it was “inexcusable” that an intruder was able to jump over the White House fence and into the executive mansion and, in a separate incident, that an armed ex-convict was able to enter an elevator with President Obama.

She said a review was needed because the agency’s problems might go well beyond Pierson.

“I understand she’s the top person, the buck stops here, and there are those who are calling for her to step aside,” she said. 

“Whether she does so or not, I think we need an independent investigation. Her leaving doesn’t end the need for us to know a lot more about what is happening.”

This story was updated at 3:02 p.m.