Secretary of State John Kerry was aboard his 76-foot yacht for the 4th of July amid the on-going political tumult in Egypt, a spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed Friday, reversing a previous statement she had made.
Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for the state department, had said Wednesday "any report or tweet that [Kerry] was on a boat is completely inaccurate," in response to a claim by a CBS News producer that Kerry was in Nantucket on his boat "Isabel."
Kerry, a long-time Massachusetts senator and husband to billionairess Teresa Heinz Kerry, received criticism during his 2004 presidential campaign for living a seemingly out-of-touch lifestyle.
The optics of enjoying private life while serving as a government official can be difficult to navigate. President George W. Bush, for example, reportedly took more total vacation days than any of his recent predecessors, but decided to give up golfing in 2003 after a deadly bomb in Baghdad.
"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said, according to Politico. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
Following Psaki's initial statement, more photographs showing Kerry emerged, and the spokeswoman changed her tune, saying Kerry was indeed on his boat Wednesday.
"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 El Baradei and five calls to Ambassador Patterson on that day alone," she said in a release, according to CNN. "Since then he continued to make calls to leaders including Emirati Foreign Minister bin Zayed, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr."
Egypt has remained in political and societal flux since the military intervened earlier this week and suspended the constitution and removed President Mohamed Morsi from power.