Two Secret Service agents were placed on disciplinary leave and sent home from South Korea ahead of President Joe Biden's visit. The agents were not part of the team assigned to protect Biden. Instead, they were sent to South Korea ahead of his arrival to provide logistical support.
The two agents went out to dinner and made stops at several bars, getting heavily intoxicated, two sources briefed on the situation told ABC News. The agents then took a cab back to the Grand Hyatt hotel in Seoul, where Biden is expected to stay. When the agents arrived, they got into an argument with the cab driver, and a physical altercation reportedly ensued.
According to Reuters, one of the agents was detained following the incident. He provided a statement to the local police and was allowed to return to the United States. It is unclear if he will face charges.
The decision to send the agents back to the United States was made while Biden was in the air en route to South Korea. The Secret Service confirmed the incident and said it would not impact the safety and security of President Biden.
"The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations," agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement to ABC News. "The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip. We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further."
President Biden arrived in Seoul on Friday without incident.