Cummings: Secret Service Director Should Step Down If She Cannot Restore Trust in Agency
Washington, DC —Appearing on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, stated that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson should step down if she cannot restore public trust in the agency—and in particular address cultural issues to ensure that agents feel comfortable raising security concerns to higher-ups.
“I want her to go if she cannot restore trust in the agency, and if she cannot get the culture back in order,” said Cummings. “I told her that she’s got a tall order there.”
“If she cannot restore this trust among her agents, if she cannot put them in a position where they feel comfortable in telling her and her higher-ups things that are going wrong with the agency, problems with various investigations and whatever, and if she cannot address the issue at the same time of training and protocol and at the same time, keep the President safe, then I think she should go, and I think that she would agree with me because I believe that she has served faithfully our country for thirty years,” said Cummings.
Regarding what the Secret Service must do going forward, Cummings stated: “They’ve got to restore their reputation, but at the same time—and just as important—they’ve got to do things with regard to training, culture, protocol—making sure that the agency is all that we’ve always thought it to be. Right now, the thing that’s hurting them too is the reputation is getting diminished. The mere fact that you and I are talking about this right now—talking about the Secret Service right now—is diminishing their image, and that image—that reputation, Wolf—is extremely important because that reputation is largely a big reason why there is so much deterrence with regard to anybody trying to go after the President, or the Vice President, and others.”
Cummings relayed his concerns to Director Pierson in a phone conversation this morning.