Ah, Secret Service agents: Just like your college roommates, except your roommates weren't in charge of taking a bullet for President Obama. After an agent was allegedly found passed out drunk in the hallway of his Netherlands hotel last weekend, he and two others were sent home and suspended. The agents were awaiting a visit from Obama, who stopped by the country Monday to meet with world leaders and attend a conference on nuclear security.
Sources told the Washington Post that the three guys are part of an elite faction called the Counter-Assault Team, meaning they're basically the last thing standing between Obama and any attempts to kill him. They're trained to "fight off assailants and draw fire while the protective detail removes the president from the area," according to WaPo.
The Secret Service wouldn't confirm specifics, but did tell several news outlets that three agents were sent home and put on leave for disciplinary reasons. Apparently, the agents ended their Saturday night at their hotel in Noordwijk, a resort town near The Hague, where the Netherlands government and a slew of international organizations are based.
Upon returning from their night out, at least one of the agents didn't make it into his hotel room. Hotel staff apparently found him lying drunk in a hallway and told the country's U.S. Embassy about the incident. The two others, an unnamed source told the AP, were sent home and put on leave, mostly for not helping or stopping the third from making an ass of himself.
And in case you were wondering: "It wasn't like a big, crazy party," according to an AP source.
And it isn't at all funny, at least according to the Secret Service. Being part of Obama's last line of defense also entails some rules, namely being extremely physically fit and ready to protect the president if needed. That means agents can't drink in the ten hours leading up to an assignment.
Agents are also supposed to only drink moderate amounts of alcohol. Since they were due to show up at a meeting on Sunday morning in advance of Obama's visit, their late-night antics violated the rule.
The ten-hour rule was put in place after a much more embarrassing hotel incident in Cartagena, Colombia in 2012, when several agents were caught with prostitutes in their rooms. The scandal led to a series of condemnations, an investigation, firings and eventual reforms. Here's Obama addressing that scandal back in 2012.
Regardless of how hard the agents were partying last weekend, the visit was probably less fun for Obama, who slotted in a quick trip to Amsterdam, a meeting with the Netherlands' Prime Minister, a sit-down with China's President Xi Jinping and a pop-in at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit.
Finally, he took part in a G-7 meeting that condemned President Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea — marking the first time the group of nations had met without Russia since 1998.