Secretary of State John Kerry was caught on an open mic during a conversation with one of his top aides, apparently mocking Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry said on the phone, just moments before his interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Some frustration was apparent in his voice and facial expression during the short conversation as he apparently criticized Israel’s assurances that its strikes into Gaza were kept limited.
“We’ve got to get over there,” Kerry continued on the phone. “Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”
Fox News host Chris Wallace called Kerry out on his remarks once they were on the air:
While you were on camera and while you were on microphone, you just talked to one of your top aides about the situation in Israel and the fact that 14 Israelis have apparently been shot and killed in an operation.
Kerry unapologetically stood his ground:
It’s tough to have these kind of operations. I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does with respect to young children and civilians. War is tough. I’ve said that publicly and I’ve said it again. We defend Israeli’s right to do what it is doing.
He did, however, acknowledge Israel’s right of self-defense.
“We support Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in. Hamas has started its process of rocketing after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young [people] — one American kid, three young Israelis,” Kerry said.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Michael Goldfarb tweeted:
Wow…Chris Wallace just blew up Kerry with a hot mic clip. Kerry mocking Israeli gov statements that Gaza a "pinpoint" operation.
— Michael Goldfarb (@thegoldfarb) July 20, 2014
Radio host and political commentator Tammy Bruce offered this observation:
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) July 20, 2014
Watch Kerry’s conversation and interview below.