[Video below.] In a remarkable and rare television moment on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace confronted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on comments he made about Israel’s war against Hamas only moments before, without realizing he was being recorded.
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry tells an aide in the clip, sounding frustrated. The aide responds, “It’s escalating significantly and it just underscores the need for a ceasefire,” to which Kerry replies, “We’ve got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight.”
“I think it’s crazy to be sitting around,” Kerry adds.
Reporting on Kerry’s remarks, the Politico website said, “His comments seemed to be criticizing the Israeli government’s assurances about the limited scope of its attack and ground invasion of Gaza.”
Setting up a replay of the clip while interviewing Kerry, Fox News’s Wallace said, “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.”
After playing back the clip Wallace then asked, “When you said it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, are you upset that the Israelis are going too far?”
Kerry responded by repeating support for Israel’s right to self defense while standing by his comments.
“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,” Kerry said. “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.”
“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.
On CBS, Kerry told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer that he is “planning to go” to Israel, “and probably very shortly,” The Washington Post reported.
Watch a video of the interaction (11:03) between Wallace and Kerry below: