Darrell Issa, Peter King Still Confident in Secret Service Chief

Posted April 22, 2012 at 10:22am

Two Republican committee chairmen expressed confidence on “Meet the Press” today in Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan as he investigates a scandal involving Colombian prostitutes and offered new details about what the probe has uncovered.

Six agents involved in the incident have been fired, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, revealed another will be administratively disciplined.

Issa said that person withdrew his participation in the carousing once he realized the woman he was with was a prostitute.

“One individual … clearly made a decision he wasn’t going to participate once he knew the woman was a prostitute. And that person will be disciplined for his poor judgment going down a road of drinking and taking a woman back to his hotel room,” Issa said.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said to expect more firings in coming days.

Both Republicans expressed their confidence in Sullivan and in the investigation into the incident, as did David Axelrod, the president’s chief political adviser, who also appeared on the NBC show.

Axelrod defended President Barack Obama over the Secret Service scandal and another incident regarding a lavish Las Vegas conference held by the General Services Administration.

“On the GSA issue, he was, I think it’s fair to say, apoplectic. Because we made a big effort to cut waste, inefficiency, fraud against government, save tens of billions of dollars doing it on just this kind of thing. And so this was very enraging to him. And of course he acted quickly and the administration acted quickly and changed the management there,” Axelrod said.

The Secret Service investigation is at an “early stage,” he added. “We have to get to the bottom of it, and I’m sure we will.

“There is going to be misbehavior in any large organization. Even Comcast and NBC probably faces that from time to time. The question is when people do, how do you deal with it, what do you learn from it, what systems do you put in place to keep it from happening again?” Axelrod said.

Axelrod also slammed House Republicans for passing a bill last week that would extend for one year a 20 percent tax cut to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

“Half of those tax cuts will go to people at like hedge fund firms, law firms. Donald Trump would be a small business under their definition. And yet they said that we didn’t have $6 billion to extend a policy of keeping low the interest rates on student loans. So if we don’t act, student loan interest rates will double in June,” Axelrod said.

“That isn’t a prescription for growing the economy.”