July 5th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
9 years 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. Robert

    The guy deserves some leisure time just like Joe Sixpack. The *real* problem is that our government doesn't seem to be truthful on even the most mundane matters.

    July 5, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. chris

    who cares? we are not the world police.

    July 5, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Sid Stewart

    being on a yacht is no big deal; staying on the yacht would be pathetic

    July 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Evergreen

    The problem is the feeling that every tweet has to be responded to immediately. It is ok to delay responding until you are sure your response is accurate.

    July 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Getoverit

    Why does this matter? Why can’t Kerry be on his boat?
    The fact that Kerry was on his boat is not the issue here, Steve. The issue is the CONSTANT lies by this administration, and the subsequent backpedaling, correcting, clarifications, etc. when they get caught.

    July 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. PoBoy

    Why is this a story? Is he supposed to sit in his office 24/7 and wait for a crisis to happen? Just have been a slow news day.

    July 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Timothy

    The United States of America is not a leader in the world anymore, we have become the follower of who knows what ???

    This is so typical of the O'Bama Administration... The entire World knew at least 48 hours in advance of the Egyptian Military's plans to oust Morsy... Why does this Administration continue to take a "Reactive" approach to world events rather than a "Proactive" approach ?

    Our once Great Nation has become the laughing stock of the World and nobody takes us seriously anymore... Even our Allies don't trust us...

    July 5, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Soldier33

    And this is news why? Egypt is none of our business, along with Syria, Libya, Pakistan, etc. Money and focus needs to be directed on our own needs here in America.

    July 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. ElGiblet

    I think being in an office somewhere would have changed the situation, don't you?

    July 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. boyamidumb

    Not much of a Hillary fan, but I will give her this, she worked her like crazy to do the best she could as Sec of State. This dilettante should go back to sitting in the corner with his mouth shut. He is another joke among too many of the last 30 years of U.S. administrations.

    July 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. william reed

    Big deal. Kerry was on his yacht. Glad he has one. More power to him.

    July 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. patrick harris

    So what!

    July 5, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Kevin G

    So he was on a boat, big deal. I am sure other officials in the past have done the same thing.

    July 5, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Roger

    You can buy a lot of stuff, if you sell enough ketchup, and you can even come close to being president. Oh what catchup can do for a man.

    July 5, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. knklhead

    Yeah, the entire cabinet is to be locked up, waiting by the phone and television every single instant just in case something happens (even if we should BUTT OUT) anywhere on the massive globe.

    Where was Romney?

    July 5, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Full Plate

    I wonder why these paparazzi fools don't watch their own lives instead of worrying about how others live. Oh, ok, because people want to hear gossip and crap about others because their own lives have little or no meaning, plus these guys get paid big time for spewing anything about someone who is known. I am not saying that Kerry's life or any other celebrity's or politician's does (I am not a Kerry fan), but I just think CNN should leave these insignificant stories and judgements to the tabloids and report real NEWS.

    July 5, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. longfisch

    Why lie about where he was? Everyone understands it was the 4th and he has the right to take a holiday off to do whatever he wants to do and that modern communication devises allow people to work from almost any location. The lying is what bothers me, it should not be considered acceptable (unless you feel being lied to is acceptable behavior).

    July 5, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. ElGiblet

    If you had to be in the office every time there was turmoil in the Middle East, you'd never get to go home. Those guys will never, ever settle down.

    July 5, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. brown


    The American electorate has the government they so richly deserve. During the next thirty five years,
    you will lose your beloved America because of your indifference and unwillingness to get involved
    in taking care of your country.


    July 5, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. SmartGuy

    Who care's if he was on a boat as I am quite sure he has a phone with him. Don't know how much he would be able to help with the mess in Egypt! These countries have been in turmoil for many years and will continue to be in the future. What I do believe is there are quite a few, like tons, of corrupt folks in government in Islamic countries, all of them. My tribe is better than yours, etc, etc..............Glad I don't live over there as it must be terrible for the younger generation looking ahead an saying 'Nothing there looks good for me!"

    July 5, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Bob

    John at 4:13 pm, if you think the incompetence of this administration is unmatched, you must have a less than 5-year old memory.

    July 5, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Alina1

    It reminds me the a "crazy " President from that movie American Dreams:" There can't be peace in those countries , just cant be so deal with it"..

    July 5, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Mommydawg

    Im sure he did both! There are 24 hours in a day, you know.

    July 5, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. zappaisfrank

    Hmm...didn't GWB spend three days eating birthday cake in Crawford while New Orleans basically drowned from Katrina?

    July 5, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Being on the boat or not, that's not the issue, we Egyptians hate the way you insert " military coup " in every article or space, an elected president does not terrorise and kill his people, does not lie in every statement he makes, does not sell the Egyptian land on every boarder, does not support criminals, does not head and represent an international criminal organization, does not lead his country to total bankrupcy, we people have the right to put him down whenever we want, it is not a militery coup, it's a 33 million people's wish and command, either say the truth or shut up for ever.

    July 5, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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