July 5th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
1 year 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. Jeremy

    Completely irrrelevent whether he was on a yacht or not. A Secretary of state is allowed vacation time no matter what presidency he/she serves. I would be more concerned if Kerry just sat in the Yacht and didn't do anything as in reach out to U.S embassies and foreign ministers. Of course it was bad misinformation to say he wasn't on the Yacht but later found out he was. Are we really going to make a scandal out of this?

    July 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. SirZek

    People, you know there's this thing we use called " smart phones" that allows us to be in constant communication... I bet Kerry has one of those... give him a break..

    July 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Ge

    Gee no kidding...

    July 5, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. jigglything

    "Let the Egyptians eat cake. I'm paddling around the sound where those darn ecoterrorists wanted to put those wind turbines. Thanks to momma T I'm enjoying all the perks of being a faux blueblood."

    July 5, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Ah yes... the very same yacht he tried to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes on. Stand-up guy that Kerry... stand-up guy.

    July 5, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Pat

    I'm sure he was reachable and it's not like he could do anything about what was going on. Give the guy a break!

    July 5, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. demoguy1

    Much ado about nothing...

    July 5, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. aj0714

    Just one more piece of evidence that no man works as hard as a woman.

    July 5, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. craig

    Is this really THAT big a deal? Okay, somebody didn't know where he was and inaccurately stated he was someplace else. Probably shouldn't have happened, but it did...and it does. Every day. To people all over the place. In any case, let's assume he wasn't on the boat...what difference would it have made? Absolutely none!

    This is politics in a foreign country. They tend to do whatever they wish to do, especially with things that seem to be nearly 100% internal. We can't tell them what to do, nor should we. We could express opinions, both privately and publicly, but they are under no obligation to either acknowledge them nor follow our advice. In fact, during a coup exactly who are we supposed to call? We could talk to the neighboring countries, but they are likely busy trying to figure out "what this means." In any case, there isn't a lot of "action" that we need to take. If our embassy is safe we've done what we can do. If we've made the appropriate notices to our citizens traveling there (which we had) then it's pretty much a wait and see thing. In short, it's a Watch Carefully situation, and that can be done just about anywhere...including celebrating a holiday on a boat.

    July 5, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Joe

    I'm glad Mr. Kerry can find the time to take a day off, even if it is a working day for the rest of us. This way, when a crisis unfolds, he can be rested and ready to respond, even if he is unavailable.

    July 5, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. NameScott

    Why the Long Face over this Mr Kerry?

    July 5, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. MerlinX4

    After first denying that Kerry was on his yacht, the State Department later issued a statement blaming the incident on an inflammatory video.

    July 5, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. HeadDesk

    That's just good quality journalism right there. Politicians are mostly wealthy and like to have personal time too: News at 11.

    July 5, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Lainie11

    This administration is known for their liars and lies. Lie after lie after lie, kind of sick of it already. I wonder if the Democrats take an oath to constantly lie.

    July 5, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Charles Norkoli

    At least he wasn't putting a load of bird shot into his hunting buddy's face after "a" beer for lunch.

    July 5, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Lynn

    Who cares? He was spending a day out...good grief, it's not like our ambassador got killed and dragged through the streets or anything like that......

    July 5, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. steve

    Is it still W's fault?

    July 5, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Michael F.

    SO WHAT!!! What is he supposed to do? I suggest that Mr. Nosy Oinouno mind his own DAMN business...

    July 5, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. johnharry

    found all the republicans

    July 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Tony

    Raise your hand if this surprised you...

    July 5, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. Michael Benjamin

    So what if he was on his yacht? No doubt he was able to communicate with department staff and directly with the White House.

    July 5, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Surthurfurd

    Why was this producer not in the streets of Egypt collecting interviews? How dare they not be on the job all the time!

    July 5, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. dody 2

    Nothing would have happened differently if he had been @ the State Dept.. I agree that apparently not much is going on today.

    July 5, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Brian

    I don't align with either party, but I know that most of my views lean left. That said, I think this was totally irresponsible. Smartphones and whatever other technology can break sometimes. Basically, he knew the ultimatum was that day and should have been in a room with advisors waiting to deal with what he, as the US Secretary of State, should have seen coming. He has every right to a vacation, just not on one of the most important days in US foreign relations he'll see during his time as Sec of State.

    July 5, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. miller

    i am happy he is on his yacht ,the man has not taking a day off since congress gave him the job ,is time that his family gets to spend time with him ,this man has been on a plan and fying all over the world ,trying to put out fires and keeping us safe in the USA good for him it time move on people .

    July 5, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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