Reporter Allegedly Taped Private Kerry Trilateral Meeting

Image: Reporter Allegedly Taped Private Kerry Trilateral Meeting

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 08:33 AM

By Melanie Batley

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A reporter allegedly taped Secretary of State John Kerry's private remarks to a meeting of world leaders last week, prompting an apology from the chairman of the Trilateral Commission.

According to Politico, the comments were recorded by a reporter from The Daily Beast, Josh Rogin, who subsequently published two exclusive reports about Kerry's comments on Russia and Israel. The latter, which said Israel risked becoming "an apartheid state" if there isn't a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, has sparked outrage.

Reporters attending the event every year agree not to record or report on speakers' remarks without permission, though Rogin had not been on the list of those invited to the event.

In a letter to Kerry, the commission's chairman, Joseph Nye, a former dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, expressed his "deep apology and dismay" that Rogin had gained access to the event, slipping past both commission staff and diplomatic security.

"I am very distressed that Mr. Rogin somehow gained entrance to the meeting room but also that he blatantly ignored the clearly stated rules we had established and under which you agreed to appear before the commission," Nye wrote in the letter, a copy of which Politico obtained.

"His actions tarnish the commission's excellent reputation for honoring this pledge and that of all those who attended the session and did keep it."

Within minutes of Kerry's remarks Friday, Rogin published an article reporting that Kerry had warned Russia would be facing a new round of American financial sanctions, and also revealed that diplomatic relations between the White House and the Kremlin had come to a standstill.

Rogin published a second report with the headline "Kerry Warns Israel Could Become 'An Apartheid State'," prompting outrage from Jewish organizations and the Anti-Defamation League. The report also spurred calls for Kerry to resign from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and commentator Charles Krauthammer.

In both cases, Rogin did not report he had attend the event, having cited "an attendee" in the first report, and "a recording … obtained by The Daily Beast" as the source for his second report.

According to Politico, Rogin refused to acknowledge his involvement at the event, saying, "I don't comment on my sourcing. I didn't break any rules or agreements in the reporting of this article."

The State Department declined to comment on the matter, Politico reported.

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