A secret service agent watches as Vice President Joe Biden speaks as Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) listen during a "Get Out The Vote" canvass kickoff event at the home of a supporter in Annandale, Va., November 4, 2013. UPI/Molly Riley | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Secret Service agents and managers have been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct in 17 different countries in recent years, officials said.
A number of whistleblowers with knowledge of the alleged behavior testified in front of the U.S. Senate, The Washington Post reported Friday.
The Secret Service and the White House have declined to comment on the allegations.
Two officials with knowledge of the whistleblowers' accounts say they involve agents and managers hiring prostitutes, visiting brothels on official trips, having extramarital affairs on official trips, and having both one-night stands and long-term sexual relationships with foreign nationals that were not properly reported.
Under the Secret Service policy, hiring prostitutes and having sexual relations with foreign nationals are forbidden.
"This type of behavior jeopardizes the security of the President of the United States and makes U.S. government personnel susceptible to coercion and blackmail," Sen. Ronald H. Johnson of Wisconsin, ranking Republican on a Homeland Security subcommittee, said in a statement Thursday.
The allegations follow a scandal in which Secret Service agents were found to have hired prostitutes and engaged in a night of heavy drinking ahead of a presidential visit to Cartagena, Colombia, last year. Following that scandal, the Secret Service changed its policies to ban the consumption of alcohol 10 hours before employees report to work and limiting consumption to "moderate amounts" during off-duty hours.