This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I want to address the allegations of misconduct by Secret Service agents in Colombia. The allegations are inexcusable, and we take them very seriously as this investigation proceeds. The investigation will be complete and thorough, and we will leave no stone unturned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER: Tone a little different between the president and the secretary of homeland security as the Secret Service investigation continues about the scandal in Colombia. To date, six Secret Service officers have lost their jobs. A seventh has been cleared of serious misconduct, and two additional employees have been cleared as well. Two others have chosen to resign.
We're back with the panel. Steve, there's a Fox News poll, one of the questions asked was about GSA and Secret Service, the General Services Administration and Secret Service, could it happen under any president? 84 percent said yes, and then 15 percent said bad management by this president.
But specifically on Secret Service, where do you think this is headed? And what does it say about the agency overall?
STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, it's a good question where it is headed. If you look at the Secret Service broadly, I think the -- I agree with the president. This was a small group. I don't think that we're likely to find widespread abuses of this type, which isn't to say we don't go back and hear about stories of sort of frat-like behavior from 10 years ago. But look most people who work at the Secret Service are people who have risen through the ranks of law enforcement or the U.S. military, they're accomplished, they work hard, they take their job seriously. The reason they do what they do is because they are willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater good, which is the opposite of the kind of behavior we saw on display in Colombia where it was instant self-gratification and irresponsibility.
So I don't think this is representative of the agency more broadly. And I don't also think this is President Obama's problem. I agree with the people polled there. I don't think this falls in the lap of President Obama. I would make a distinction, however, on the GSA. If you look at the people he put in charge of the GSA, the people who were running his transition. The chief of staff was somebody who worked for President Obama in 2004 in his campaign, worked for him in the Senate, worked for him on the transition, continued to work for him in the administration. So I think he owns more of the GSA scandal than he does of the Secret Service scandal.
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: I agree. I think that, though an investigation could turn up something very shocking, this is probably the kind of misconduct that was a one-off, and is not endemic within the agency. And is something that, because it was exposed, is probably going to bring more accountability and more scrutiny to the people that remain there, who still have their security clearances and are still on the job. No administration would want a lax Secret Service full of partying and looking the other way. Obviously, any event that threatens the president, or the cabinet, or the vice president. It would be devastating even if it was foiled. And so it's just not the kind of thing I think that affects him the way Solyndra does, which is a scandal involving subsidiaries and loan guarantees to political allies. This could happen to any president and I don't think it's going to be likely to happen again.
BAIER: Charles, what about the tone when he answered that question on Jimmy Fallon's show, it's "a couple of knuckleheads." It's a couple of dozen Secret Service and military personnel, and the investigation is ending people's careers.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well he was off on the numbers but he was OK on the way he portrayed it. I'm with Obama on this. I find it hard to get excited about this scandal. There was real stuff happening in the Cold War. U.S. officials would be in Moscow, they'd set them up with a woman with cameras. They'd blackmail the official and they would be able to turn somebody into agent against the United States. That's serious stuff.
Colombia is not an enemy country. The Cold War is over. There is no evidence whatsoever of any blackmail or any breach of security. I'm not an expert on this, but I had a cursory look at the women involved, and they don't have the appearance of skilled double agents. So I think it's a frat acting out, spring break for men who shouldn't be doing that. They're grown men. They have a real responsibility. Obviously a breach of discipline, obviously it has to be dealt with, but, call me a troglodyte, but I find it hard to get extremely upset about this. There are real scandals, the GSA scandal, other scandals in the country. This one is -- I'd put it at two on scale of ten.
BAIER: And to the people who say the protection of the president could have been compromised, you don't buy it?
KRAUTHAMMER: There is no evidence that any of it was. It didn't involve -- he wasn't on the scene, there was no compromise of information. If there was a ring set up by Chavez to get information out of the president in jeopardy, I would look at it differently. There is no evidence of that.
BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for the latest on America's hot commodity.
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