July 5th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
10 months ago

State Department admits Kerry was on yacht day of Egypt coup

(CNN) - After the emergence of photographs showing Secretary of State John Kerry on his 76-foot yacht “Isabel” on Nantucket Sound on Thursday, the State Department issued an embarrassing correction Friday morning, back-tracking and acknowledging that the Secretary was in fact on the yacht on Wednesday, the day the Egyptian military staged a coup against democratically-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.

Originally, State Department officials were quick to deny a Wednesday tweet from CBS News’ Mosheh Oinounou that: “A @CBSThisMorning producer just spotted Secretary of State Kerry on yacht in the Nantucket Boat Basin. No response when she shouted ‘Morsi.’”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a statement Wednesday saying “any report or tweet that he was on a boat is completely inaccurate.”

“Since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 am, Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt,” Psaki said. “He participated in the White House meeting with the President by secure phone and was and is in non-stop contact with foreign leaders, and his senior team in Washington and Cairo.”

But overnight, photographs emerged showing Kerry on “Isabel” and taking in some kayaking on Thursday.

The New York Daily News just published some of them.

On Friday morning, Psaki issued a second statement, acknowledging that Kerry was “briefly on his boat on Wednesday.”

Kerry again swamped by nautical controversy

She went on to say that “Secretary Kerry worked around the clock all day including participating in the President’s meeting with his national security council, and calls with Norwegian Foreign Minister Eade, Qatari Foreign Minister al-Attiyah, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Egyptian Constitution Party President ElBaradei and five calls Ambassador Patterson on that day alone and since then he continued to make calls to leaders including Emirati Foreign Minister bin Zayed, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr.”

An administration official added that none of those calls happened while Kerry was on his boat.


Filed under: Egypt • John Kerry • State Department
soundoff (707 Responses)
  1. John

    That makes no sense, liberals hated Bush yet accept the same behavior from Obama and act like that is ok. My goodness folks is your dedication to the parties or to this country? It seems quite clear all you people are interested in is a party R or a D that is really sad.

    July 5, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. blaze562

    Another brilliant masterpiece unfolds for the Obamanations, they are sounding more like a ghetto band all the time. what will it be next, king Obama is getting a sun tan in Bora Bora wearing a g- string to attract all the guys while North Korea attacks and he would use the same old excuse, I Didn't know anything. maybe that's what's wrong Mr. President, You really don't know anything.

    July 5, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. gardencreator

    Nothing wrong with his being on his yacht. Just admit it. He can work from anywhere. His yacht was not on the Nile taking sides.

    July 5, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. alan

    PSAKI is a liar just like hillary

    July 5, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Phil

    The government just needs to stop the lies about everything. It doesnt matter if they are republican or democrat just stop it and be honest. It would be nice for a change,however they never will. The gig is up though and I am glad the American ppl realize the extent of the lies you will sink into. Time for change...

    July 5, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Greg C.

    This matters because it's further evidence of this Administration systematically lying to the American public to "control" its image. Let's be clear, if the President is clueless, your Secretary of Defense is out on a leisurely stroll on his yacht at a time when we have a huge crisis unfolding in the Middle East and political spinsters and media minders trying to portray something that isn't true...it does matter...further evidence of a gov't that is unaccountable, less than truthful, and it's not an isolated case; it happens over and over...shameful.

    July 5, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Phaerisee

    So, it would have made more sense forSecretary Kerry to waste a several hours flying to the Middle East? The author is aware we live in a post-technological age with devices such as cell phones, right?

    July 5, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Jim Doyle

    While I would believe very little said by anyone in the Obama administration if Kerry was on his boat on Wednesday so what. Not a big deal. The media was just looking for a story.

    July 5, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Kerry was on his boat, was he? I can see where this might upset rightwing America enough to consider this a political controversy having any newsworthy relevence whatsoever.

    July 5, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Genna

    why does it matter if Kerry was on a yacht during this time? I get he is the Secretary of State for the US, he is not a part of the Egyptian gov't. US doesnt need to be in every affair, every issue, and every where. My goodness can't Kerry chill on a yacht. And stop calling this a coup!

    July 5, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Bob Ramos

    To be kind, Psaki must have been given the wrong information and she screwed it up. No biggie.

    Whereever they are, all top administration figures are never off the clock. They have access to all kinds of communications equipment and advice. So they can, and do so, their duties 24/7 regardless of where they are.

    July 5, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Bobbie

    The white house lied? NOOO!!! We should be used to this by now! Hell, we should expect it! I guarantee that if this was a republican secretary of state, the press would be screaming to have him fired!

    July 5, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Pilgarlic Rose

    Why is this a news story? Why shouldn't the Secretary of State be allowed to enjoy some leisure time? Given the incredibly high demands and stress of a job like that, spending some time on the water in beautiful Nantucket would give him a much needed break from the stifling climate of paranoia in Washington. His perspective on any world issue will be much more balanced after a paddle in his kayak than if he was constantly huddled in an office with political spin doctors. Bon voyage Secretary Kerry! If NY Daily News did some actual journalism they could probably find something more interesting to report than a guy in his boat.

    July 5, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Mark Solomon

    What a waste of a story..So what if Kerry is on his yacht? It doesn't have communications apparatus? This is happening half a world away in another country! This isn't Katrina. Tapper needs to do better than this..More of the Zuckerification of CNN.

    July 5, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Gotta love this joke of a regime.... Obama I mean.

    July 5, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Mark Solomon

    The media (of which I am one) don't use words-they strangle them..I remember when Bush I was in office and the crap during the downturn was whether he would utter the "R-Word."

    Just read The Economist every week...That tells you all you need to know about the world in a balanced and non-partisan fashion.

    July 5, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Scott

    The State Department lied to us!? The shock! The HORROR!!!

    I would have thought we've grown used to this...

    July 5, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. imhem

    And Obama was asleep before heading to Las Vegas for a fund raiser while his ambassador was being killed in Benghazi. Nothing new here....

    July 5, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. John Mann

    I don't know what all the hubbub is about. It's obvious that Mr. Kerry was on his way to Egypt. He was trying to save some taxpayer money by using wind power to get him there.

    July 5, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. frdms2thelft

    I'm loving this, every conservative=american taliban on this site has got their panties in a knot over this. Like it was GWB siitng on his ass while the twin towers are going down on 9/11. LMAO. GOP are greedy cowards who are bent on obstructionism to the demise of this country. No wonder they have lost the last 2 national elections and are clearly poised to lose the next 2 as well. bye bye dinosaurs

    July 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. M

    Americans should look inside their own home, Obama was elected by mere 50 some percent of votes, electoral college is another math but bottom line if you look at the total eligible voters in the US is somewhere between 200-250 million and the total votes cast to all candidates was 7-8 million, given and take obama got little more than half of that and Romney for little less than half. Democracy in the US is a joke as compared to all the places US is trying to dictate democracy and freedom.

    You can whine all about how people are crazy in other countries, you are no better. Your silence is the reason why the power in Washington has the upper hand.

    July 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Brian

    Ummmmm so? No phones on boats anymore?

    July 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Jrad

    I can't believe it that a politician would do this! This is unprecedented news!

    OUTRAGE! RABBLE RABBLE!

    July 5, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Tammy Terrell

    This man was the democrat nominee for president in 2004 and almost won! This should tell us a lot about the democrat's choices for president, along with the present one. They are not fit to lead!

    July 5, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Willy100

    I'm FINE with the USA guy being on a boat – it is HOLIDAY everyday with the USA – BUT – it is time for the USA to declare disappointment and say "BYE BYE" – "WE SCREWED UP" _ and don't do a 'Bush' job – just – bow out – and let's start working on PROBLEMS at HOME USA

    July 5, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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