Three more US agents have lost their jobs over claims that they brought prostitutes back to their hotel in the Caribbean resort of Cartagena, host for last weekend’s Summit of the America’s.
The Telegraph writes that White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated on Friday that Mr Obama had faith in the Secret Service. The president, who arrived in Cartagena the day after the scandal erupted, also believed that his security was “never compromised” in Colombia, Mr Carney said.
The Secret Service said it was still investigating, “utilising all investigative techniques available to our agency, including polygraph examinations, interviews with the employees involved, and witness interviews”.
“We demand that all of our employees adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards and are committed to a full review of this matter,” it added.
The Security Service reported that a 12th employee has been implicated in the ongoing investigation into the night of partying at a hotel in the coastal city of Cartagena.
As Sky News claims, eleven agents were initially caught up in the affair, along with at least 21 women who were taken to the hotel. The Pentagon said 11 military personnel are being investigated.
The news comes as a Colombian prostitute revealed how the refusal of one of the agents to pay her an agreed fee had led to the scandal coming to light.
In an anonymous interview, the woman, who is believed to be Colombian escort Dania Suarez, 24, claims that she met the agents at a strip club and one of them agreed to pay her £500 to spend the night with him, however, he changed his mind the next morning.
The woman, whose exclusive photos leaked a few days ago, said that she had had to contact the local police in an attempt to get the money she said she was owed.
“I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” Dania Suarez said in her first public comments on a dispute that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.
She also denied she was a prostitute, preferring the term escort. “It’s the same, but it’s different,” she told reporters. “It’s like when you buy a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone. They have a different price.”
A week ago President Obama, speaking for the first time about allegations that Secret Service agents hired prostitutes, said Sunday that “of course I’ll be angry” if those accusations are proven true by an investigation:
“If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry,” Obama said during a press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a few days ago predicted that more people would be fired within “just a few days.”
“I expect there will be more, but that’s what the investigation is all about,” said Chuck Grassley.