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. Gabriel Massengale

    So what if Kerry was on his yacht while crisis broke out in Egypt. Hello he works for U.S.A. not Egypt. Only those with a paternalistic, American-centtric world view are upset by this story.

    July 5, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. Doug Harrod

    I personally have no problem about his whereabouts on the 4th of July. I do find it stupid that someone is trying to cover up where he is because he can be where ever he wants! I also find it stupid that the news
    people try to make everything a major incident. Report the news and stop trying to CREATE news instead of reporting real news.

    July 5, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  3. the troof

    the big deal is the constant "accidental untruths" the administration is telling us about everything including such small things as this......how can you trust anything they say?

    July 5, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Texas

    I was working on the 4th.

    July 5, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Rob

    I get soooo tied of these Obama lies!!!!

    July 5, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. Tugman

    I am sure that in this modern age that Kerry was able to be reached if needed. I am sure he has a smart phone, an internet enabled radio and other ways that he can be reached immediately.

    July 5, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  7. Steve in MA

    The guy works 100 hours a week. Why can't he take a small vacation for the 4th of July without some jackwagons trying to turn it into some form of scandal? A little 5 day break is well deserved here. Its not like he's the president and taking several months off to go hand out on a dude ranch. When he was called, he sprang back into action and ended his vacation. Its not like he could do anything to stop what was happening in Egypt.

    July 5, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  8. MMM Man

    His job requires him to be on call 24hrs a day. If you worked for someone on 24hrs a day basis and you didn't show up cause you were on your boat and then you lied that you were at work – you would get fired...

    July 5, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  9. Chris

    Why should the US care what is going on in Egypt? They have no oil and I could care less. Seriously, should the man have been in the office watching every second of what another nation does?

    July 5, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  10. JD

    What a worthless piece of reporting. Should we research world events when Obama is at Camp David?

    July 5, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  11. Dennis Daniels

    Agree the State Department lied. That's what they do. Beats Bain Capital and Repubilicans. The sad thing is the Administration is inept and right-wing and is still preferable. Says how really awful today's Republican Party is.

    July 5, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I think it is funny, Gov spies on it own citizens, but they don't know where their own Sec of State is...

    July 5, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Muamar Anwar Sadam Husadein III

    Dos Boot, up the hind side.

    July 5, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  14. Hiruu

    Uhhhmmm...this is embarrassing for what reason again?

    July 5, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  15. Brandie

    Not so much that he was on his yacht. But once again the Obama administration is missing in action when there is a world crises. And than they lie about it.

    July 5, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  16. LibtardFantasy

    Kerry's on a Cruise and Obama is golfing. Why am I not surprised? Corrupt and irresponsible.

    July 5, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. LtButRt

    It is the work of them non-serving Swift Boaters still embarrassed by own non-military, non-combat experience.

    July 5, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  18. Dj

    sorry leecheswrong again. he is an an elected offical. He doesn't have normal hours and he is always on call. You want to spend the holidays on your boat. That like a surgeon letting someone die cause he was enjoying the holiday on his boat and not ready to do the job he is paid very well to do.

    Of course Obama won't take any action. Dude never takes action.

    July 5, 2013 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. Brightly

    Chill! Take a deep breath! Take a stress tab. Unwind.

    No amount of JK hovering, even levitating, over incoming faxes, tweets, cables, text messages, cell phone calls or smoke signals is of any value. Anything he would get through Gov channels would be received in the SD duty section and the WH. There is NOTHING that he could or should have done. We ARE NOT controlling events in Egypt. We have approximately ZERO influence there at this moment. The US Emb in Cairo has been stood down except for essential people. A Benghazi event in Cairo is super unlikely. Even issues of the billion plus in mil assistance will not be resolved for many weeks-months. If the Pres wanted him, he could reach him.

    Get off your manic perch!

    July 6, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. RB

    Don't you mean the boat was paid by his wife. Just so sick of all the lies.

    July 6, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  21. dou44

    Was it a 3 hour tour with Gilligan?

    July 6, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  22. Just

    John, why the long face?

    July 6, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. MontanaTrace

    On a yacht or in Vegas, it's company policy. So shut up!

    July 6, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  24. cheeseroll

    Oh that's fine.

    American politicians love their expensive perks at the expense of the American people.

    Obama on a $100 million, 7 day safari tour (masquerading as "foreign relations"), Kerry on a yacht, Obama going to the Caribbean on another of his ubiquitous pricey holidays, and in 2012 alone, $1.4 billion was spend on Obama and his family.

    But yet, after all this money being spent on the leisure activities of American politician, a $100,000 fireworks show is cancelled for the Marines on the 4th of July.

    Shameful.

    July 6, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  25. MurphysLaw215

    I don't have a problem with the guy taking a break. Everybody needs a vacation day, once in a while. But the State Department certainly shouldn't have lied about it. They wonder why the people don't trust their government anymore... Because if they won't tell us the truth about the little things, than how can we trust them about the big things? Anyway, aside from that, enough of this Democrats versus Republicans BS. You're focusing on the wrong thing, people. The answer is not in taking sides and crucifying the "other side." We need to let go of this willingness to approach everything in absolutes / black and white. There is no one good side, no one bad side. Taking a side and then blindly adopting their viewpoints just because they are your side (Democrat or Republican) is foolish and lazy, and shows a lack of thoughtfulness. We're all on the same side, really. Until we can see that and work together, nothing will get done. Perhaps we should instead focus on removing from power those leaders who lie to us without hesitation, often claiming it's for our own good (whether they call themselves Democrats, Republicans, or whatever else...).

    July 6, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
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