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Military Members on Pence Detail Reassigned for Bringing Women to Hotel

Editor’s Note (Aug. 24, 2017, 7:15 p.m.): A previous version of this article identified the location of the incident as Colombia, based on information from three U.S. defense officials. A defense official later told NBC News that the incident occurred in Panama.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military detail assigned to Vice President Mike Pence’s communications team has been removed from White House duties after being caught on video bringing women back to their hotel in Latin America, according to three U.S. defense officials.

The service members — who were from the Army as well as one from the Air Force — didn't register the women when they brought them in, the officials said.

Image: Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos at the presidential guesthouse in Cartagena, Colombia. Fernando Vergara / AP

Three defense officials initially told NBC News that the service members were in Colombia in connection with Pence's trip to Latin America earlier this month, but a defense official later told NBC News the incident occurred in Panama.

A White House official told NBC News that Pence had not left the U.S. when the incident occurred. His staff became aware of the problem when they saw security camera video of the members of the detail bringing the women into the secure area, the officials said.

The service members — who were senior members of the services, according to one of the officials — were brought back to the United States and removed from the White House detail once the allegations surfaced.

"We are aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation," Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick S. Ryder. "We can confirm that the individuals in question have been reassigned back to the Army and Air Force."

There is no indication at this point that the women who were brought to the hotel were prostitutes, officials said.

In 2012, eight Secret Service agents doing advance work for a presidential trip to Colombia lost their jobs after allegations that some took prostitutes from a strip club back to their hotel rooms.