A pair of Republicans who head congressional oversight committees said on Sunday that Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan should keep his job, praising his handling of the Colombian prostitution scandal that has rattled the agency.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he has “full confidence” in Sullivan, as did Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Their support was echoed by David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama. “The president has confidence in Director Sullivan and the agency,” Axelrod said.
Axelrod said Obama was also “apoplectic” about another scandal, involving the apparent abuse of taxpayer funds by the General Services Administration, because it flew in the face of administration efforts to curb waste in federal spending. “This was very enraging to him,” Axelrod said.
Both King and Issa said the most troubling piece of the secret service scandal wasn't prostitution – it was that agents brought foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.
“Yes these were prostitutes – which was awful and salacious – but they were also foreign nationals,” Issa said. Added King: “The fact that foreign nationals were brought back into a security area on the eve of a trip of the president of the United States, goes against everything the secret service stands for.”