Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies on Secret Service prostitution scandal
POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 3:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 3:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefed Congress on the ongoing Secret Service prostitution scandal Wednesday.
Napolitano said there's no indication the hiring of prostitutes and wild partying was business as usual on Secret Service trips.
Napolitano also said President Obama's safety was not compromised when members of his Secret Service and military advance detail partied with prostitutes in Colombia.
"The first question I posed to the director was, 'Was there any breach to the president's security in this instance?' And the answer was, 'No'" Napolitano said.
Still, she concedes there could have been a risk.
"And that's why this behavior cannot be tolerated," she added.
Eight Secret Service members are out.
One lost his security clearance and three more face administrative punishment.
Napolitano says investigators have already examined almost 14,000 trips and found no similar misconduct, but Senators are alarmed by this quote from an agent in the Washington Post:
"Of course it has happened before. This is not the first time. It really only blew up in this case because the U.S. Embassy was alerted."
The Homeland Security Secretary says there's no such evidence, and it's not much of an excuse.
On NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday President Obama backed his agents.
"A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do. What these guys were thinking, I don't know," Mr. Obama said.
The Pentagon expects to wrap up its investigation of a dozen military members next week.