President Barack Obama said Sunday he will be “angry” if an internal investigation shows Secret Service personnel engaged in misconduct while in Colombia because he expects representatives of the United States to act with the “utmost in dignity and probity” when traveling abroad.
But as he finished a weekend meeting with other Western Hemisphere leaders here, Obama said he would wait until the investigation concludes before passing judgment of misconduct on the Secret Service agents and military officers, part of a team he said performs “extraordinary work on a day-to-day basis protecting me, my family and U.S. officials.”
The official Summit of the Americas touched on hot topics such as drug policy and the exclusion of Cuba from the get-together, but informal conversation dwelled on the scandal.
Eleven agents were ordered back to the United States and placed on administrative leave for misconduct, and five U.S. military personnel were confined to quarters for violating curfew, after local police were called to the Hotel Caribe early Thursday. U.S. officials said women believed to be prostitutes were in some of the Americans’ rooms.
The Secret Service and the Department of Defense are both looking into the allegations.
The Secret Service personnel were not part of the Presidential Protection Division, the elite unit assigned to Obama, but provide security to U.S. government functions, buildings and officials.