National Security

Two Secret Service employees sent home from South Korea after alleged incident with taxi driver

Two Secret Service employees are being sent back to the U.S. and placed on administrative leave, the Secret Service said in a statement Friday, after the employees allegedly got into a confrontation with a taxi driver in South Korea while they were apparently intoxicated.

Secret Service Chief of Communications Anthony Guglielmi said the employees’ actions, which occurred while they were off duty, “may constitute potential policy violations.”

“We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further,” he said.

The incident was first reported by ABC News, which cited two sources briefed on the matter. 

The sources told the outlet the two employees went out to eat before visiting several bars and appearing to become intoxicated. In a taxi that night, they allegedly got into an argument with a taxi driver that led to a call to police.

One of the employees was investigated by authorities. No one was detained or criminally charged in connection with the incident.

One source told ABC News the police filed a report on the matter. The employee who allegedly got in the argument will be interviewed by local police before returning to the U.S., the outlet reported.

The incident comes as President Biden traveled to South Korea on Friday, beginning his first trip to Asia as president. ABC News reported that Biden was on his way to Asia when the decision to send home the employees, who were helping to prepare for the president’s visit, was made.

Guglielmi said the incident had no impact on Biden’s trip.

Biden gave a speech at a Samsung factory in South Korea on Friday, during which he vowed to strengthen diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the country. 

“We’re standing at an inflection point in history where the decisions we make today will have a far-reaching impacts on the world we leave to our children tomorrow,” Biden said in Pyeongtaek. “This vibrant democracy has become a powerhouse of global innovation by investing in educating its people.” 

“This is the moment, in my view, to invest in one another, to deepen our business ties, to bring our people living closer together,” Biden added.

Tags Biden Joe Biden Secret Service South Korea South Korea

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