Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Monday offered a full-throated defense of Joseph Clancy, the director of the U.S. Secret Service.
Johnson said the public should be proud of the Secret Service and other DHS agencies for last's moth's success in safeguarding the Pope, the huge crowds he attracted, and the gathering of world leaders for the opening of the UN General Assembly.
"I don't believe any other agency in the world could have done this. It was a massive, massive effort. It's something we should all be proud of."
Earlier Monday, the Homeland Security inspector general, John Roth, said he would re-open an investigation into improper access of government records by Secret Service employees involving a U.S. congressman.
The inspector general said in a report last week that 41 Secret Service employees improperly looked at the agency's database to examine records showing that before Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, was elected to Congress, he was turned down for a job with the Secret Service.
Agents and other employees began looking at the record at the time Chaffetz was chairing a congressional hearing critical of Clancy.
The inspector general report said Clancy was not told about the improper access until April 2nd, after the information about Chaffetz was leaked to a reporter.
But Clancy said today that after the report was issued, he recalled that he heard a rumor on March 25th about Chaffetz applying for a job with the agency. But it wasn't until April 2nd, he said, that he heard about the improper access to agency data.
On Tuesday Clancy marks one year running the agency.
"It takes time to turn a large ship in a different direction," Johnson said. "I believe Director Clancy has made a number of good changes, and I have a lot of confidence in him."