(WASHINGTON) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking woman ever elected to office in the United States, called the Secret Service prostitution scandal “disgusting,” a “disgrace,” “disconcerting,” and “every D-word you can think of.”
In her first comments since news broke last weekend that 11 Secret Service officers and 10 military personnel solicited prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, during the Summit of the Americas, Pelosi told reporters she was disappointed by the actions of those involved.
“It’s a stunning thing. It’s actually disgusting. There has to be an investigation to see how this could have happened and those responsible should have to pay a price,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Those people who are responsible have brought disgrace and it’s disgusting.”
Pelosi said she has not yet been briefed by the Secret Service and it’s premature to determine whether there is a culture of toleration within the Secret Service.
“I hope it is limited to what we see in the press now and not indicative of something else, but it’s hard to understand how such a thing could happen,” she said.
The Democratic leader urged Congress to be patient and allow the Secret Service to complete its own investigation before Congress holds any hearings on the matter. With three supervisors already out of the agency, Pelosi predicted none of the others could escape the scandal with their jobs.
“I don’t see how those who are involved in this should be able to continue with their work,” she said. “Disgusting, disconcerting, every D-word you can think of. But it is nonetheless something that needs to be looked at right away, because the security of the president is immediate and that can’t be put on a backburner. So I think that those responsible should report what they know, and if that’s not satisfactory then we reserve the right to go forward on it.”
Asked if Congress should be more involved in reforming the culture of the U.S. Secret Service, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., declared Thursday, “There’s not a committee hearing that’s going to take the place or stop people from being stupid. There is not a bill we can pass to cause people to have common sense.”
Reid said there will be various investigations and committee hearings going forward on this in due time.
“I mean, think about this: People that are here to protect the president — they go to Colombia and have a fight with a prostitute over how much she should be paid,” he continued. “And that’s a little — that’s either very stupid or total lack of common sense.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio