President Gave a Speech at Hooker's Point As Hookergate Erupted

Susan Jones
By Susan Jones | April 17, 2012 | 11:27 AM EDT

( - Oh, the irony: On Friday, April 13, on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, President Obama stopped at the Port of Tampa to give a speech at the Hooker's Point Security Operations Center.

As the president spoke at Hooker's Point, hookergate -- a scandal involving the President's Secret Service advance team -- was erupting in Cartagena.

According to press reports, the day before the president arrived in Colombia, 11 Secret Service agents and at least ten military personnel were sent home for partying with prostitutes at a Cartagena hotel on Wednesday night.

The Secret Service personnel are now on administrative leave and they've had their security clearances revoked as the investigation continues, the agency announced.

In his speech at the Hooker's Point Operations Center (sometimes spelled Hookers), President Obama discussed the benefits of trade with Latin America.

His first comments on the Secret Service hooker scandal came two days later, on April 15, at a joint news conference with the president of Colombia.

Obama told reporters that "what happened here in Colombia" is being investigated by the Secret Service:

"I expect that investigation to be thorough and I expect it to be rigorous," the president said. "If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I'll be angry -- because my attitude with respect to the Secret Service personnel is no different than what I expect out of my delegation that’s sitting here. We're representing the people of the United States. And when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards because we're not just representing ourselves, we're here on behalf of our people. And that means that we conduct ourselves with the utmost dignity and probity. And obviously what's been reported doesn’t match up with those standards.

But again, I think I'll wait until the full investigation is completed before I pass final judgment," he added.

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