WASHINGTON - A Republican senator says several small groups of Secret Service employees separately visited clubs, bars and brothels in Colombia ahead of President Barack Obama's visit last month — a trip that was overshadowed by the agency's prostitution scandal.
Maine Sen. Susan Collins is challenging suggestions that the scandal appeared to be an isolated incident.
She noted that the involvement of two veteran Secret Service supervisors sent a message to the rank and file that this kind of activity is tolerated on the road.
Collins says the Secret Service officers' conduct was not only reckless and "morally repugnant," it could have provided a foreign intelligence service or criminals with opportunities for blackmail that could threaten the president's safety.
Her remarks come in testimony prepared for a Senate hearing today.