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CNN "CNN Newsroom" - Transcript


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LEMON: Dan Lothian, appreciate your reporting traveling with the president tonight. Thank you, Dan.

The Secret Service is overseen by Department of Homeland Security.

Now, I want to go to the phone where we have New York Congressman Peter King standing by for us. Mr. King is the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Congressman, you were briefed on this investigation. What do you know?

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK (via telephone): Yes, Don, thank you.

Basically my understanding is, it was 11 Secret Service agents. They did bring women back to their rooms. There was -- one of the women did not leave her room in the morning, the hotel manager tried to get into the room, finally, the police came, the woman did leave, Secret Service agent apparently she said owed her money and that was basically it.

Then the police finally report with the American embassy which they were required to do whenever they deal with a foreign citizen in the country. Secret Service saw that, saw the report. They immediately began an investigation.

Also, the special agent in charge at the field office in Miami, she began an investigation. The investigation moved very quickly and 11 agents were removed from the country. They were backfilled immediately. There was never a gap in security. Each of the positions was filled from agents from Miami and from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

LEMON: I have to ask you this. What's the possibility of some sort of shake down, just asking, going on here? Because as we have heard, prostitution is legal in some parts of Colombia. Is there something going on at this particular hotel? Or could the agents have been set up in some way?

KING: No, I don't think -- first of all, my understanding, there is no allegation of any crime being committed. What it does, it violates Secret Service code of conduct. Their job is to protect the president of the United States.

They cannot put themselves in compromising position where they're open to be blackmailed or threatened. Nor can they -- nor should they be bringing prostitutes into a basically security zone 48 hours before the president of the United States is arriving.

So the main problem here for the Secret Service agents is not so much a criminal violation, but really it is a dereliction of duty, not doing their job. I know you asked before about investigation. My understanding is all day today at Secret Service headquarters, these 11 agents were being interviewed and questioned because Director Sullivan wants to know what happened and why it happened.

LEMON: Congressman Peter king, thank you very much. We appreciate you taking out time to speak with us. Thank you.

KING: Thank you, Don. Thank you.


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