April 27 - During the midday State Department briefing on “Take Your Child to Work” day, reporters ask tough questions on the widening Secret Service sex scandal. Nick Rowlands reports.
It may have been "Take Your Child to Work" day at the U.S. State Department, but that didn't stop journalists at the midday briefing from asking probing questions on a widening Secret Service sex scandal. The string of scandals came to light this month after Secret Service agents and military personnel were alleged to have taken prostitutes back to their hotel in Colombia before a visit by President Barack Obama. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN, VICTORIA NULAND, SAYING: "Members of the Foreign Service are prohibited from engaging in notoriously disgraceful conduct which includes frequenting prostitutes and engaging in public or promiscuous sexual relations or engaging in sexual activity that could open the employee up to the possibility of blackmail, coercion or improper influence." Other U.S. embassy employees are under investigation for incidents in Brazil and El Salvador. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN, VICTORIA NULAND, SAYING: "The department's view is that people who buy sex acts fuel the demand for sex trafficking, and given our policies designed to help governments prevent sex trafficking, etc., it is not in keeping with the behaviour that we want to advocate and display ourselves." During the briefing, the roughly half dozen children present stared dutifully at the floor from their seats along the sidelines. None of them asked any questions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN, VICTORIA NULAND, SAYING: "And, what a subject to be talking about on Bring Your Kids To Work day." (LAUGHTER) Nick Rowlands, Reuters.