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. swatcomms

    Awesome, I was in my backyard having a beer. How come that didn't make the news?

    July 5, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. Tom Arnold

    George W spent his whole presidency on vacation, what's the big deal here?

    July 5, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Michael Grant

    I didn't see the Republicans mentioned in the article. Additionally, I was not aware that CNN was now a conservative news organization. So why all the whining about Republicans? The problem was not that he was on his yacht, but that the State Dept. and the Administration lied about him not being on the Yacht. He deserves down time like anyone else, I have no issue with that. Lying was the problem, not his location. And to Stellar 17–Are you kidding me? Do you really think that the office staff that reports directly to the Sec. State does not know his location 24/7? Seriously? He is one of the most important men in the world, he is part of the President's National Security Council, knowing his location is vital. In the case of a international emergency he would be one of the main people Obama would consult with; it is imperative for the admin to always know his location, at all times. Too bad you have no idea how things at this level are run.

    July 5, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Jay Floyd

    This compulsion to behave as though we have something to do with the politics in other countries is destroying our reputation around the world. It really should stop.

    July 5, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. BHO123

    Glad this guy wasn't elected president.

    July 5, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. JZ

    Wow, in today's connected world.....just tell the truth for crying out loud

    July 5, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Tenie

    And bo has been on a permanent vacation.

    July 5, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    At least it is not a swift boat.

    July 5, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. Spgfld Tom

    The first reaction from anyone in the Obama administration is to lie. You can always recant when exposed. Kerry was born a wease, is a weasel and will, most likely, die a weasel. To quote a former Secretary of State "What difference, at this point, does it make?”

    July 5, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. JZ

    I don't care that he was on the boat....I care that everyone now seems to follow the strategy of; "Never tell the truth when a lie will do...."

    July 5, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Grumpy2012


    No one knows where Obama is during Benghazi.
    No one knows where Kerry is during Egypt.

    Then they just lie about it.

    July 5, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. What a surprise

    Well, wouldn't it be the perfect place to be since it is likely the US instigated the coup? The US could care less about Egypt and Egyptians. It only care about Israel, no matter if Netanyahu is a right wing nut. You can bet the US along with the Egyptian Army junta did everything possible to impede all efforts Morsi attempted. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of USA's constant and clumsy meddling in the region hardly needs a Snowden or WikiLeak to see the US's DNA all over this. Morsi, though, must also have been a naive idiot to think he could beat the CIA and the Egyptian Army.

    July 5, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  13. lasparky11

    George Bush: "There are WMD's in Iraq" Bush was & is a straight out liar. Kerry's office makes a minor mistake about his whereabouts that causes no harm (4,000+ dead in Iraq) & the right wingers are up in arms. The right wingers have nothing better to do, so let's make something out of nothing.

    July 5, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. kmac

    Odd that the government can listen to 3.7 billion cell phones at once but Kerry and the State Dept can't talk on some kind of system. He must be the only one in this world the government can't access his cell phone.

    July 5, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. abnguy

    Wow, the lies and scandals are racking up for the administration. I think for the next few years any time an administration official speaks in public they need to be attached to a polygraph. Carter and Nixon have to be pretty happy that Obama is president.

    July 5, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. Casey Collins

    At first blush, I got upset about this headline, but looking deeper, it appears that he's trying to vacation but has to work. Oh well, goes with the territory....Anyway folks, it's deflecting attention away from Perry...After all, isn't that the objective? Dig up the dirt, stir in the water, sling the mud and see how much sticks. PS I hope he wasn't wearing those speedos!

    July 5, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. LogicBomb

    Once again some of you people fail to see the point. No one cares he was on his boat during a coup. What people are and should be angry about is the fact that yet another department of our federal government lied to the people. If this is government's idea of "transparency," then we need CHANGE if we're ever going to have HOPE for our country's future.

    July 5, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  18. kmac

    Perhaps the state dept doesn't want people to know.. To say its Watergate level must come from someone who has no clues about Watergate.

    July 5, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. Darnell

    Just another Obama admin lie no biggie

    July 5, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Bob S.

    I was wondering where the Tea Party Taliban and far right ranters would be getting their next non-story with which to start bashing the President and his administration. Ooooohhhh...Kerry was on his boat! That proves Obama wasn't born in the US and Michelle is a Satanist! God deliver us from these right wing pukes.

    July 5, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Zambeezee

    so the eff what!? he's not allowed to have a life. Egypt can deal with their country.

    July 5, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. Grant

    Leave him on his boat, Kerry just gets in the way.

    July 5, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. Harry S Truman

    No probs with Kerry going for a ride. But, two corrections of prev. Poster. The boat is not His but Heinz' so to speak, and perhaps why drew the reporters close inspection was b.c they tried to cheat a few years back, and avoid the appropriate taxes of his home state, Mass, by pretending it was in dry dock in RI, when people had seen in Nantucket and Boston harbors. A sittin Senator with gobs of money (Theresa's) was caught red-handed...

    July 5, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. Jimjam77887

    So what. It's not like the yhatt didn't have a cell phone and internet access so he could keep up. And so what if his office didn't know where he is ever single minute of the day. It's not like they could call him if he was needed. Keep digging, this isn't even news worthy.

    July 5, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Beni

    So what?!! He was probably sitting on the pot several times that day too! With today's technology, no one is tied to their desks. His desk is where ever he's at, on a boat, in an airplane, or sitting on the pot. This is a another Republican non-controversy.

    July 5, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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