Secretary of State John Kerry appeared on all five Sunday morning network news shows
this week, and was caught between programs doing some behind-the-scenes work.
To make all five shows, at least some of the interviews were pre-taped with Kerry in the same studio.
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"Fox News Sunday" caught Kerry
talking to a top aide by cellphone between interviews.
Story continues below video.
"It's a hell of a pinpoint operation. It's a hell of a pinpoint operation," Kerry said to the person on the phone.
"It's escalating significantly, and it just underscores the need for ceasefire," the person replied.
"We've got to get over there," Kerry told the person on the phone, then handed the phone to someone and told that person, "Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. It's crazy to be sitting around."
"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace played the video of the conversation to Kerry and asked him, "When you said it's a hell of a pinpoint operation, are you upset that the Israelis are going too far?"
Kerry responded, "It's very difficult in these situations," and repeated the United States' position that Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas attacks. "I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians," he added.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki later issued a statement, telling The Washington Post
, "Given the range of important global events we are not going to spend time litigating whether taping and playing Secretary Kerry's private conversation was consistent with acceptable protocol."
Still, Psaki said, Kerry's private comments were consistent with the public statements he made on all five shows.
"Israel has the right to defend itself including against recent tunnel attacks, but he has encouraged them to not only take steps to prevent civilian casualties, but to take steps to de-escalate and we're working together to achieve a ceasefire," Psaki said.
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