White House Ignores Secret Service Report on $100 Billion Stolen In Pandemic Relief Funds
The White House downplayed a statement by the U.S. Secret Service that nearly $100 billion at minimum has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs, saying that the estimate is based on old reports.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked to comment on the figure, said, "There is no new research, data, or analysis of fraud here."
The Secret Service told The Associated Press that the estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration.
An agency spokesperson said that they were not amending a statement on their website, but did add a clarifying note to explain the figure is based on reports from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration and that the Secret Service was not producing a new report.
"There isn't a correction to be made, we just explicitly posted on the release's webpage the same info we discussed yesterday," Justine Whelan, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, wrote in an email.
Psaki said "there was just an adding up" of two old reports of well-known challenges involving small business loans and unemployment insurance payments. "It's also important to note that even those two older analyses combined payments that include mistakes in over and underpayments but it was a reference to two older IG reports."
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