Not since Bill Clinton used his secret service agents to move interns in and out of rooms has America been this embarrassed with what should be the most respectable security team in the world.
Two Secret Service employees have been sent home from South Korea after an incident that preceded the arrival of President Joe Biden in Seoul on Friday.
ABC News reported that a Secret Service agent and an armed physical security specialist were sent home.
Citing sources it did not name, the outlet said the two Secret Service personnel had dinner and then stopped at several bars, where they “became apparently intoxicated.”
The agents then got involved in a dispute with a cab driver that ABC News described as an “alcohol-fueled incident” and an “altercation.”
“We have launched an investigation involving a member of President Biden’s security team member and a South Korean man,” Choi Eul-chan, director of the detective division at Yongsan Police Station, said, according to NBC News.
The incident occurred around 4:20 a.m. on Thursday, South Korean police said. That would have been long before Biden’s arrival.
“He pushed the Korean man once. The Korean man made the police report immediately following the incident. He demanded that the security person be punished for assaulting him,” Choi said.
Police will “follow through the case based on and according to South Korean law,” he said.
The Secret Service confirmed something happened but would not divulge details.
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement to ABC News.
“The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip,” Guglielmi said.
“We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further,” he said.
Retired senior Secret Service agent Don Mihalek, an ABC News contributor, said, “The Secret Service conducts thousands of advances for protectees each year, including for the president overseas. Through it all, the president has been kept safe and few incidents have arisen.”
“Despite that, the Secret Service is made up of people, some who make mistakes,” he said. “When they do though, the response has been thorough to ensure that the integrity of the mission is always maintained.”
Biden will spend two days in South Korea before flying to Japan, where he will meet with America’s Asian allies.