At a question-and-answer session at Louisiana State University on Monday, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) gave guarded answers about revelations that members of the Secret Service used prostitutes in Colombia that recalled his own past scandal involving prostitution.
According to the Daily Reveille, Vitter, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the incident "a very, very serious situation” but shied away from taking an active role in investigating the scandal.
"That’s Secret Service, which technically isn’t the Armed Services or under our committee’s jurisdiction, so the committee and who I work with on the committee, we don’t have any direct oversight," Vitter told the crowd, attempting to draw clear lines between the scandal and the military. "Secret Service is not military."
Yet several members of the military have been implicated in the scandal, meaning Vitter's committee could potentially play a larger oversight role than he suggested.
Vitter was caught in his own prostitution scandal in 2007 when his phone number was discovered among those belonging to clients of the "D.C. Madam." He admitted to using her escort service, calling it a "very serious sin," but was re-elected in 2010 despite the incident.
Now, however, the prospect of re-airing his past may be keeping Vitter from talking directly about the Secret Service scandal. NPR's Andrea Seabrook said on Friday that Vitter "is in a very bad position because he cannot address the Secret Service scandal. ... He used to see prostitutes in D.C. but has never addressed that.”