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. Chal

    Mr. Kerry may be wherever he wants to be, the real concern of the American people is that we get more lies from this administration until the truth is found.

    July 5, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Eric

    Then he went windsurfing

    July 5, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Gwen

    Why would the State dept need to LIE about it? I think we can assume there is communication capabilities on a yacht. Maybe not a kayak....tho.

    July 5, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. MarcNJ

    So he was on his boat... and?

    July 5, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Ted Ward

    Must be nice to be so dang riche and have all these hoity toity hobbies...yachting, US Senator, Secretary of State, kayaking around Nantucket Harbor..."Hmmm, Egypt, isn't that the place where that four thounsand year old obelisk in my back yard came from? Very chic and old. Oh, well, trim that genoa deary, and please have the steward open another Piper Heidsick, this one's getting a little warm..."

    July 5, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Patrick Portland

    See a trend with this administration? Where was the previous secretary as our fellow Americans were brutally murdered in Benghazi Libya on the anniversary of 09/11? You remember Mrs. Clinton – the one who would be up at 3AM to take those crucial phone calls & make those crucial decisions....NOT....Kerry is another arrogant self-absorbed useless bureacrat.

    July 5, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. DB

    It's only embarrassing because they ever thought to try to deny it in the first place as if it was anything to be ashamed of. Is there any reason why he SHOULDN'T have been enjoying a couple days off around Independent Day?

    July 5, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Fsjunkie

    The world is sick right now, demanding that our elected officials take blame and responsibility for every government on the planet. Not only should Kerry have had no shame in taking some R&R on OUR Independence Day, but maybe he should have given the paparazzi a one finger salute to put in their papers.

    July 5, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Gil

    The voters are getting what they deserve for leadership....the voters voted all the same people in who don't care one bit about this country!!!!

    July 5, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. larry

    Is this the yacht that he had parked in another State so he didn't have to pay his State taxes ?

    July 5, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Tom Paine Himself

    I was flipping burgers. Guess you have to be a politician to get a day off!!!

    July 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. MykeTheVet

    Yay, we're all mad that a Public Official that was Yachting while a crisis was unfolding...

    No one here will do anything about this. And "you can take that to the bank."

    July 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. kahner

    It's mind boggling to me that anyone would give a damn about if and for how long kerry was on his boat. But it's another big "scandal" on the right wing blogs. It's actually pretty embarrassing that this is how far they have to go to try to generate another scandal.

    July 5, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Infallible Govt

    Read deeper, people. The issue is not what Kerry was or wasn't doing on Wednesday. The issue here, that none of your comments are discussing is how the American people were lied to by the State Department personnel. The article isn't trying to justify/condemn a man for his vacation, but it is however explicitly pointing out that government officials lied about his whereabouts. The issue isn't about Kerry's duty: it's about trusting your government.

    And after everything that's been happening the last six months, why should this breach of trust be surprising? Our government continues in a pattern of blatant disregard for the truth and disrespect for Americans who deserve a trustworthy government. Remember or read for the first time this quote from Thomas Jefferson, the writer of our Declaration of Independence 237 years and one day ago :

    "The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors." – Thomas Jefferson.

    When is a deceitful government existing for the interest of its people and enabling their safety and happiness? In no way did these lies about Kerry's activities on Wednesday protect the American man or woman, promote their happiness or their interest.

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Tapper.

    July 5, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Jerry

    What a joke of a Secretary of State; probably worst or as bad as "what does it matter at this time" Hillary Clinton. Just like Hillary knew about the Benghazi massacre, Mr. Heintz (Kerry) knew the Egypt coup was boiling over. Love his dedication to his "NEW" job. Love his multi-million dollar yacht, which is registered out-of-state to avoid paying Massachusetts higher taxes. Can't get any more patriotic than that. Why can't Obama get any of his appointments right?!

    Oops! My bad, I forgot he works for Clueless/Liar/Hypocritical One.

    That América, says IT all!!!

    July 5, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Flatsguide

    Why would Herman Munster care anymore than Hillary Clinton did? Like she said about 4 American dying in Bengazi, "What difference does it make"???

    July 5, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. joe mauro

    Incompetence and arrogance at its zenith.

    July 5, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Pete

    At least he's not McCain the Saigon Songbird going over to Syria,Afghanistan and God knows where else to sell weapons for your republican masters the MIC that fill their pockets..And how much are these overseas excursions cost coming out of tax payers pockets if I may ask hypocrites !!Ain'tcheap with all his security detail,media publicists I bet!!

    July 5, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. David

    Not to worry.....Hagel, Rice, Holder and Biden are looking after things.

    July 5, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Your mom

    Who give a care? I get called all kinds of places for work when I'm on call. It's a holiday week, where would you be if you own a Yacht?

    July 5, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. stinky

    Those elitist, ultra-rich, out-of-touch Repukelicans always on there yachts. Oh wait...

    July 5, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Noocrat

    2 questions about this

    1) Why should I care how someone else spent their Independence day?
    2) Why does CNN want to become the new Fox News?

    So he was on his yacht during our nations birthday. It was stupid that they lied about it but why should he spend the day working because of the situation in Egypt? Why is that our problem?

    July 5, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. McBob79

    Pretty sad but not surprising.

    July 5, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Thomas

    He ate a lobster with butter !

    July 5, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Black Dynamite

    "Hey, pimpin' ain't easy!" – John Kerry

    July 5, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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