Saying he apologizes for "any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents," Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder has confirmed a Politico report that he was the "nude member of Congress" who took a dip in the Sea of Galilee last year during a late-night escapade "that involved drinking [and] numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers."
According to Politico:
"During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer ... Yoder took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel ... sources told POLITICO. Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed, while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip."
As The Kansas City Star reminds its readers this morning, "Christians consider the Sea of Galilee a holy site; it is where the Bible says Jesus walked on water."
Yoder told the Star that:
"Part of the reason I made that decision at that moment was there was really nobody in the vicinity who could see me. ... I dove in, hopped right back out, put my clothes on and, regardless, that was still not the behavior people expected out of their congressman."
According to the Star, the congressman said he remained in the water for about 10 seconds.
Politico says that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was on the trip as well. He apparently was not among the group that went to the Sea of Galilee. Politico says that Cantor "was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the 30 lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip."
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