A group of House Republicans visiting Israel as part of an official Congressional delegation last summer enjoyed a late night of drinking at the Sea of Galilee that included swimming and, in the case of one member, a little skinny dipping in the place where the Bible says Jesus walked on water.
The story was first reported by Politico and has been confirmed by ABC News.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was on the trip but was not present for the late night antics. When Cantor was told about what happened, according to Republican sources, he was “livid” and called members of the delegation to say the behavior was unacceptable and must never be repeated.
The skinny dipper, according to the sources, was Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas.
In a statement to Politico, Yoder said: “A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit. It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”
Cantor’s deputy chief of staff, Doug Heye, tells ABC News what he told Politico: “Twelve months ago, [Cantor] dealt with this immediately and effectively to ensure such activities would not take place in the future.”
Heye confirms that the FBI asked about the incident, although the investigation does not appear to have gone anywhere.
“Last year, a staffer was contacted by the Bureau [FBI], which had several questions, the staffer answered those questions and that appears to have been the end of it,” Heye said.
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