Obama praises Secret Service, hits 'knuckleheads' who caused scandal
April 24th, 2012
04:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama praises Secret Service, hits 'knuckleheads' who caused scandal

(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday labeled the Secret Service officers involved in the recent prostitution scandal "knuckleheads" but also said the agency does a great job 99.9% of the time.

"The Secret Service these guys are incredible. They protect me. They protect Michelle. They protect our girls. They protect our officials all around the world. 99.9% of them every day, they put their life on the line. They do a great job," Obama said in an interview with Jimmy Fallon set to run Tuesday night. "So a couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do but what these guys were thinking I don't know. That's why they're not there anymore."

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Secret Service members allegedly brought back prostitutes to a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, while on a security detail in advance of Obama's trip there for the Summit of the Americas. The agency said 12 of its members have been implicated in the incident so far.

Tuesday's remarks were not not the first time the president commented on the scandal. Shortly after the story broke, Obama said he would be "angry" if the allegations were true.

"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 told reporters. "We are representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. king

    hey this president cannot micro manage the whole executive branch and lead the american people at the same time. these repubs are off their rocker if they expect that.

    April 24, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Little Jimmy Truth


    Obama loves more fun than politics. When he will add more free times than staying White House.

    April 24, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    Perverts is a more accurate description Mr. President. Luckily that group of bad apples didn't spoil the bunch.

    April 24, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The Secret Service is supposed to be above the political fray.

    April 24, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    It takes a knucklehead to know a knucklehead I guess....

    April 24, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. info


    is that how you picked them out so quick?

    April 24, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Mr. President anyone who can think sanely knows this. The republicans are a desperate group. They must cling on to anything to strike fear and create doubt about you. I pray it back fires on them in Novemer. In the meantime, keep safe and the American people support you.

    April 24, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    It takes a knucklehead to know a knucklehead I guess....
    That is a remarkable observation you made there, Truth. You recognized one of your own.

    April 24, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    seeing some of the smart-alec remarks coming form the righties here I guess they could care less if the president could have been put in harm's way because of such tomfoolery. It's too bad that partisan politics has become so uncaring and downright hateful.

    April 24, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. ladyfon

    King, He doesn't lead me instead he wants to take more out of my pocket to give to someone else that doesn't work as hard as I do.

    April 24, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. fairandbalancedfredo

    You can tell the right-wing pigs at CNN don't like President Obama by the pictures they post of him.

    April 24, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Gumby

    Stupid is stupid! Not Democratic Stupid, Not Republican Stupid. Just Plain Stupid. These guys were STUPID! Everyone return to your homes. Nothing more to see here.

    April 24, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Oh Come On

    For the record.......when it comes to loving fun more than politics. GW BUSH spent more time off sitting at his ranch than any other president in history.

    April 24, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. ladyfon

    Woman in Cali – We republicans agree that the naughty secret service put Obama in harms way. Which republican said that they didn't care? Can you name one?

    April 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Alina1

    These guys really do a good job, try to protecting the guy that killed Osama. It's just hard for me to get mad at them.

    April 24, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. anything is possible

    maybe the secret service WAS doing their job and being used as a holding tank for the girls that would eventually be made accessible to the Whitehouse staff, and others if you catch my drift?

    April 24, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. camper

    Obama is such a panderer beyond redemption. If the nation elects this guy as president for a second term, we have only ourselves to blame. He is reprehensible.

    April 24, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. PhillySW

    Well, you know, no one said the same thing when the Republican presidents were in office and a scandal occurred: like Oliver North with Reagan, or congressional Pages being hit on by republicans under GWB. Did anyone say that was a reflection on them? But everything a democratic president does now all of a sudden is a reflection on him for some reason?

    Anything to blame Pres Obama for something he had nothing to do with. Obama was thousands of miles away in the US from the country of Colombia when this SS scandal occurred, but it's still Obama's fault to some people... If you want to know where the partisanship has come from, start looking at frivilous issues against the president like this. This issue is extremely serious for the respect of the US and it's dignitaries and POTUS. But not serious because Obama happens to be the president while this scandal occurred.

    April 24, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Henry

    Ahh, Obama needs the Buffet rule for a fair pay for the secret services guys so they can afford a 'fair shot' and pay the girls and do not have to start a war on girls.

    April 24, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    I think the President has enough problems with the filibustering bunch of teapublikans in congress. He can't run every agency himself. That is why there are directors and others to take care of their employees and matters such as this.
    The SS is supposed to be the elite of the elite. I think the ho in Columbia told them 800 and they thought it was pesos (or whatever their currency is) and they thought it was only $30. They are a disgrace.

    April 24, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. bullock w

    I m remmber that presdient obama was there at hawaii also why obama friend mayor was used prostuies so police caught to him went to jail
    Acorn prostuies like support vote for presdient obama 2008

    April 24, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. sayer

    #gotta love those ears.

    April 24, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Matt

    Obummer – go to your standby. This is clearly George Bushes Fault.

    April 24, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. DW

    Check that out the KING knucklehead calling the Secret Service guys knuckleheads! LOL

    April 24, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. bobby frank

    It only a takes a small few to make the whole bunch look bad. Can we move on to getting Obama elected for a second term? He deserves getting re-elected just for taking out Osama is what i think!

    April 24, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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