White House spokesman Jay Carney has said the administration has no reason to think staffers were involved. But Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, also has questioned whether any White House personnel could be connected to the episode.
Two prominent Republicans, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have said the Secret Service scandal and the ongoing revelations of out-of-control spending at the General Services Administration raise serious questions about the Obama administration’s ability to effectively manage the federal government.
Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod brushed aside those criticisms during appearances on the Sunday talk shows.
“Do I think that the GSA problem is concerning? Yes,” Mr. Axelrod said on CNN. “And the president was furious when he learned of it. Obviously, we’ve revamped the whole operation as a result of it. But is it emblematic of our administration? Absolutely not.”
Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, the senior Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat, told ABC’s “This Week” that the culture of Secret Service might be improved if the agency hires more women.
“I can’t help but wonder if there had been more women as part of that detail, if this ever would have happened,” Ms. Collins said.
“We probably need to diversify the service and have more minorities and more women,” Mrs. Maloney said.
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By Elaine Donnelly
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