Susan Collins says Secret Service prostitution scandal highlights lack of female agents

Posted April 22, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says the Secret Service prostitution scandal highlights a lack of women in the presidential security ranks.

The Maine Republican, who is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, discussed the scandal Sunday on the ABC news program, “This Week with George Stephanopolous.”

Collins said she can’t help but wonder that if there had been more women on that detail in Colombia, if the questionable behavior would have ever happened.

Collins also said she’s been told there’s no evidence of underage women involved in the scandal. But Collins says that’s beside the larger point: “What are Secret Service agents doing bringing unknown foreign nationals to their rooms, regardless of their age?”

The Maine senator says she does not believe the Colombia event was a one-time incident. Earlier this week, she noted to Reuters that, “There are 11 agents involved. Twenty or 21 women foreign nationals were brought to the hotel, but allegedly Marines were involved with the rest,” she said in an email.

“Director Sullivan is rightly appalled by the agents actions and is pursuing a vigorous internal investigation,” said Collins, the senior Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “He ordered all the agents to return to Washington immediately, and all have been interviewed.”