Secret Service Chief Mark Sullivan Testified To Senate That Incident Was Reckless; Denies Security Breach
The Director of the US Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, has testified before a Senate committee and admits that the incident that happened at the Hotel Caribe in Columbia were "reckless" and "dumb", but has denied the agency tasked to protect the president and US currency has a culture of misconduct or coverups.
New accusations have sprung up that these actions compromise security, but the director denied this saying there have been no security breaches, and added that a similar incident in El Salvador was found to have no wrong doing after an investigation concluded agents in El Salvador also may solicited prostitutes in an earlier event.
In trying to keep this incident has a localized individual incident, Sullivan said, "This is not a cultural issue, this is not a systemic issue," Sullivan insisted, arguing that similar misconduct hasn't occurred on thousands of other overseas trips by Secret Service agents. "On this particular trip, we had individuals who made very bad decisions."
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told Sullivan during the hearing, "I continue to believe that the problem is broader than you believe it to be." Collins also told reporters later that she believes this was not an isolated incident and was disturbed by Sullivans remarks.
Sullivan apologized say, "I am deeply disappointed, and I apologize for the conduct of these employees and the distraction that it has caused," Sullivan said, later adding: "I want to ensure that this type of conduct that occurred in Cartagena is never repeated."