Two Secret Service employees have been sent home from South Korea after an incident that preceded the arrival of President Joe Biden in Seoul on Friday.
ABC News reported that a Secret Service agent and an armed physical security specialist were sent home.
Citing sources it did not name, the outlet said the two Secret Service personnel had dinner and then stopped at several bars, where they “became apparently intoxicated.”
The agents then got involved in a dispute with a cab driver that ABC News described as an “alcohol-fueled incident” and an “altercation.”
“We have launched an investigation involving a member of President Biden’s security team member and a South Korean man,” Choi Eul-chan, director of the detective division at Yongsan Police Station, said, according to NBC News.
#BREAKING: NBC News is reporting that we have yet another Secret Service incident as two agents were just sent home from Seoul, South Korea following a drunken incident and argument a few days ago over a taxi outside what is now President Biden’s hotel. pic.twitter.com/mlCxtT6Pgy
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 20, 2022
The incident occurred around 4:20 a.m. on Thursday, South Korean police said. That would have been long before Biden’s arrival.
“He pushed the Korean man once. The Korean man made the police report immediately following the incident. He demanded that the security person be punished for assaulting him,” Choi said.
Police will “follow through the case based on and according to South Korean law,” he said.
The Secret Service confirmed something happened but would not divulge details.
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement to ABC News.
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” an agency spokesman said in a statement to @ABC News. https://t.co/CAiJRfcZqO
— ABC News (@ABC) May 20, 2022
“The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip,” Guglielmi said.
“We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further,” he said.
🧃🍷🍺🍸🍷 The Biden Adm. are a bunch of drunks. Even, two of Joe’s Secret Service were ‘wasted’ last night, in South Korea, and got into a heated argument with a taxi driver, after a night of bar-hopping. Police were involved. Just more embarrassment from clown world. 🤡🤡
— CJ4America (@GrammyC4Zone) May 20, 2022
Retired senior Secret Service agent Don Mihalek, an ABC News contributor, said, “The Secret Service conducts thousands of advances for protectees each year, including for the president overseas. Through it all, the president has been kept safe and few incidents have arisen.”
“Despite that, the Secret Service is made up of people, some who make mistakes,” he said. “When they do though, the response has been thorough to ensure that the integrity of the mission is always maintained.”
Biden will spend two days in South Korea before flying to Japan, where he will meet with America’s Asian allies.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.