Obama commends Secret Service for a busy week of protecting the pope and world leaders

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama praised the Secret Service for a whirlwind week that included protecting Pope Francis, Chinese President Xi Jinping and more than 100 world leaders at U.N. meetings in New York.

"They all deserve a huge round of applause for being such great hosts and keeping everybody safe," Obama said, after he and first lady Michelle Obama arrived on the White House's South Lawn, following three days of meetings with world leaders.

Obama thanked agency director Joe Clancy and his entire security detail for their "flawless" work over the last several days.

The agency tasked with protecting the president, vice president and other officials has been under a cloud of scrutiny and investigations after a string of security mishaps, including a fence jumper who made his way into the executive mansion in 2014.

The Secret Service entered the spotlight in 2012 when more than a dozen agents and officers were caught up in a prostitution scandal in advance of a presidential trip to Colombia.

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