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Obama expects Secret Service to act with 'utmost in dignity'

April 15, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • "We're representing the United States ... when we travel to other countries," Obama said.
"We're representing the United States ... when we travel to… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

CARTAGENA, Colombia -- President Obama said Sunday he would be angry if an internal investigation showed that Secret Service personnel were involved in misconduct while in Colombia because he expected his delegation to act with the "utmost in dignity and probity."

But as he closed a weekend meeting here with world leaders, Obama said he would wait until the investigation was done before passing judgment on the agents and officers, part of a team that he said performed "extraordinary work on a day-to-day basis protecting me, my family and U.S. officials."

The Summit of the Americas touched on topics such as drug policy and the exclusion of Cuba from the event, but informal conversation focused on the Secret Service scandal, details of which have leaked out over the last three days.

The Secret Service and the Defense Department are looking into allegations that personnel in Colombia last week to prepare for Obama's visit had interaction with prostitutes. The Secret Service members sent home from the summit were not part of the Presidential Protection Division, the elite unit detailed specifically to the president, but they did provide security to U.S. government functions, buildings and officials.

"We're representing the United States ... when we travel to other countries," Obama said. He expects members of the U.S. delegation to reflect "the highest standards," he said, because "we're here on behalf of our people."

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