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. Mike

    Who cares?? He can be there by telephone. Does the media expect him to be in Egypt???

    How about not looking like we are directly involved??

    Life goes on in the world and the USA despite Egypt.

    Let the guy be on some vacation while most others are.

    Telephone email text tweet Facebook etc is enough to be fully informed by Washington.

    Another media made "story".


    July 5, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Texas

    4th of July folks.....we're you working???

    July 5, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Spgfld Tom

    Is this the 76 foot yacht he moved to another state so he would have to pay Massachusetts taxex on it? Another great example of the Obama administration rookies. Exactly who thought Kerry was capable of being Secretary of State? The only thing worse is Chuck "I'll have another" Hagel as Secretary of Defense. I'm actually starting to miss Jimmy Carter and his circus clowns.

    July 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Jimjones11111

    Egypt is in the middle if a revolution. I guess if Kerry had not been on his yacht, something would have been different. No one has suggested what. But something. Right?

    July 5, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Alabama Joe

    As most others have said, it doesn't matter anymore where high-level officials are when a crisis happens. They can be in secure contact with other officials at all times, except maybe when in a kayak! The mistake was the State Dept. trying to fudge his whereabouts during crucial hours. The State Dept. should know better by now and report those contacts which Kerry made, regardless of his location. And, CNN and GOP should stop this nonsense of trying to portray officials as "out-of-contact"...obviously, they are just doing it for readership and political points. How inane and childish of both organizations!

    July 5, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. freidamurray

    Hannity and friends will have a field day with this red herring... Another democrat who cares more about his comfort than that of others.

    July 5, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. SeeThruIt2

    It's the open and transparent administration. First they tell the media that he was in Washington working on the situation. Then when shown the photos, they say he was briefly on his yacht.

    Didn't President Obama say that he knows what's going on when he reads about it in the press?

    I guess the State Department is the same in that they only know where their Secretary is when the press tells them.

    July 5, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. 210

    Whoever is saying "slow news day", or "so what" is clearly the type of buffoon they were trying to fool with this ridiculous lie. Lets tell the idiots that kerry has been working nonstop but in reality he will be relaxing on his multimillion dollar yacht while violence erupts in egypt. I wonder where he was relaxing when our embassy in libya was going up in flames and americans were dying. On his private jet perhaps. Only a complete moron would think this lie, and backtrack is not news. In the past few weeks how many times have we seen government officials have to backtrack lies they have told. About the NSA issue in particular. When are people going to be held accountable. If I told my boss I was working when I was really on a yacht I would be fired in a heartbeat and my job isn't as half as important as kerry's. If our taxdollars are paying these people then we should start demanding accountability!

    July 5, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Tony

    Obama has to get his administration to STOP LYING...It's just killing his credibility.

    July 5, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. TheTruth

    Typical Obama appointee.

    July 5, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. gregorymunson

    I don't care if he was lounging or enjoying the 4th of July.. Granted. The Administration again and again lies. Couldn't they just have said that Kerry is on a short vacation and that he will address problems in Egypt upon his return? Really is it that damn hard to tell the truth and not look like complete morons.

    July 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. bob

    I hate to burst some people's bubble, but Mr Kerry was connected back to the State Dept and the White House via methods that would blow ur mind, even on the yacht ( or even from a car in the middle of a traffic jam). I have some experience in this area, so trust me....he was not out of touch,

    July 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. longfisch

    Apparently expecting our government to tell us the truth when confronted with a situation that has zero national security implications makes you a Fox News loving, NRA supporting, tea bagging racist. We will defend anything our parties do in the blink of an eye (both parties). We no longer need to read the articles, just let us know in the headline which group is supposed to attack, which group is supposed to defend and we will blindly follow.

    July 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. OnTheRoad

    Seems that he spent a lot of his time on a boat during Vietnam also! So, what's the big deal? Did anyone really think that anyone from the current administration could/would/should have been doing something? Exactly what would you have had them doing???? I mean, a politician may run his mouth, but that generally does not get anything worth while done!

    July 5, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Hammerdown

    I see that you Republicans have found another empty story
    to scream about.
    You cant catch a fish in an empty lake.

    July 5, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. PaulCat

    He should.have known that ONLY republicans get to do this.

    July 5, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. johnk

    And to think this cowboy was running for President??? Amazing how the media doesn't look into this people more as to who they really are and their questionable behaviors.

    July 5, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. zandhcats

    How many days do the Congress work a year? 126 days. Even Kerry took a day of on 7/4 is not a scandal,folks.

    July 5, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. mike in Hawaii

    Was the yacht a swift boat?

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

    If Kerry was out on yacht, it only shows how miserable and misdirected the spying case which upset EU is. How come the intelligence gathering is more concentrated on friends of US and it did not pick up any indication on Egypt?

    Or the state department has become so inept that it has no inkling of what is going on in the world. They were caught by surprise in Benghazi too. Bolivian plane was a false alarm and now this. Syria – they had no clue then nor they have it now, Snowden was a surprise, Iran remains a mystery, Russia seems to be defy always and China in any-case has always been arm twisting. Latin American countries – they do not want to talk as they do not know spanish or whatever.

    I hope they know at least what is going on with Canada and can have some degree of predictability there!

    July 5, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Scott

    Not a huge deal that he was on his boat. The bigger deal is that they attempted to cover it up, then had to retract. The cover up and lying seems to be a consistent theme with this administration and people should stop defending it regardless of party affiliation.

    July 5, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Patriots Unite

    If Kerry wasn't on his yacht Egypt would not be in turmoil.
    Its Obamas fault.
    Impeach, drool, snarl, bark, woof woof.

    July 5, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. just sayin

    lie after lie after lie from this administration about everything, no matter what the topic. the american people are finally getting the real story now that the msm is doing its job and reporting the lies and not carrying the obama administrations water for them.

    wake up america. you have been massively lied to for nearly 5 years now. wake up before it is too late.

    July 5, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Chaos

    I'm sure Kerry could have changed everything if he hadn't been where he was. Oh wait. Cons are opposed to democracy in the middle east. Well they were for it before being against it.

    July 5, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. @bob

    Comms are comms, no big deal so, sorry, it won't blow my mind. I think the issue is not that he was on his boat or kayak but that the WH saw fit to deny that he was on the boat in the first place and then had to issue a retraction after proof positive came out that he was on the boat.

    July 5, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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