Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that an incident occurred while the employees were not on duty, and that it “may constitute potential policy violation.” The employees have been put on administrative leave, he said.
“We have strict protocols and policies for all our employees, and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards,” Guglielmi said. He added there has been no impact on Biden’s trip, during which the president will meet with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to discuss how to counter China’s influence.
The official familiar with the incident said the employees involved are an agent and a tactical security specialist. Both are sworn law enforcement officers with badges and firearms, and they arrived in Seoul ahead of Biden to coordinate with his protective detail.
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The agency’s leaders say the Secret Service has righted itself and adheres to high professional standards. But some current and former agents have said a damaging culture persists, with agents treating foreign trips as perks of a highly demanding job and supervisors sometimes taking a “boys will be boys” attitude toward misconduct.
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