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Romney camp: White House involvement in prostitution scandal ‘troubling if true’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The Romney campaign on Monday weighed in on the claim from an investigator that a member of President Barack Obama’s White House advance team may also be involved in the Columbia prostitution scandal that has rocked the Secret Service.

In response to a question from The Daily Caller on Monday, senior adviser Ed Gillespie said the allegation is “troubling if true.”

Obama administration officials have denied that anyone with the White House was involved in the scandal.

On Friday, the office of Inspector General Charles Edwards at the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying it has completed an independent review of the allegations and identified 13 Secret Service employees believed to have hired prostitutes while preparing for the president’s trip to Columbia earlier this year.

The inspector general also noted that hotel records indicate that a White House advance staffer may have paid for a prostitute. In statements given to the press, the White House stood by its assertion that no White House staffer was involved and said the hotel log is wrong.

On Monday, Gillespie said “we need to let” those investigating the matter “continue to look into it.”

“We’ll keep monitoring and follow the facts as they continue to come out,” he said during a conference call with reporters organized by the Romney campaign.

Before the inspector general’s summary was released Friday, Fox News was first to report that a White House advance staffer could have also been involved.

The Associated Press reported that the advance team member accused of being involved with a prostitute is a volunteer who had their expenses paid for by the government but is not a paid employee. The White House would not disclose the name of the individual.

A White House review indicates that there’s no evidence showing the advance staffer solicited a prostitute while preparing for the president’s trip.

“As we’ve said for months, the White House review concluded that no members of the White House advance team, either staff or volunteers, engaged in inappropriate conduct during the president’s trip to Colombia,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

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