Nightly News | May 04, 2012
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Tonight, the woman caught up at the center of that Secret Service scandal is speaking out for the first time , giving her version of events about what happened that night in Cartagena , Colombia . We get our record tonight from NBC 's Mark Potter .
Ms. DANIA SUAREZ: Hola . Como estas?
MARK POTTER reporting: For the first time since the prostitution scandal erupted at this hotel in Cartagena , Colombia , three weeks ago...
POTTER: ...a woman identifying herself as Dania Londono Suarez is speaking publicly. During a paid interview on a Colombian radio network, Suarez says she was the escort at the center of the scandal whose confrontation with a man she later learned was an agent, over his refusal to pay her fee, drew the authorities and sparked the investigation.
POTTER: Speaking in Spanish, Suarez said, "It was obvious. I can't believe he would be so dumb or so stupid to think I wasn't going to charge him money." She was also asked whether she could have posed a risk to the president's
security. Her answer: "If I had wanted to or if I had been part of one of those terrorist groups, it's obvious I would have been able to get everything." In the interview, Suarez said the agent and two other men with him were drinking heavily that night. She also said after the scandal blew up, she fled to Dubai , fearing for her safety and that of her son. During all that time, she says, she has never been contacted by US officials investigating the scandal, a point of concern to a leading congressman briefed on the investigation.
Representative PETER KING (Republican, New York): This woman is absolutely essential to the investigation since she's the one who actually created the initial conflict that brought the whole house down. She's the one who was involved at the very center of this whole case, and the Secret Service has not been able to interview her.
POTTER: The US Secret Service will not comment on the Suarez interview. In the wake of the scandal, nine personnel there are leaving the agency. Representative King says one agent failed a polygraph test. The Pentagon says the investigation of 12 US military personnel is completed now, awaiting final review. Mark Potter , NBC News, Miami.