Washington, Aug 21 (TruthDive): Rep. Kevin Yoder, the Kansas Republican apologised for swimming naked last summer in the Sea of Galilee during his fact-finding trip to Israel.
More than 80 members of the House went on the trip, which was arranged by Mr. Cantor, as guests of the American Israel Education Foundation. Kevin Yoder, 36, was among 20 lawmakers and staff members who swam at the holy site last summer. They went for an unplanned swim after an evening of food and drink. Yoder was the only one to remove all his clothes.
The Sea of Galilee is the Holy Land, which has special significance to Christians as it was the place where Jesus walked on water. Swimming in the lake is permitted, but public nudity is not allowed.
Yoder told the Kansas City Star newspaper that he is incredibly remorseful, and apologizes for any embarrassment he has caused. He added that it had been dark, he jumped into the water thinking nobody could see him and was in the water for about ten seconds only.
A law enforcement official said the skinny-dipping had come to light during an inquiry being conducted by the Washington field office of the FBI into the possible misrepresentation of expenses, including meals and drinks in Israel, by some people on the trip.
Yoder’s swimming escapade occurred in August 2011 following dinner at a restaurant near the Sea of Galilee, Politico reported Sunday night. While Politico also reported that a FBI investigation into the incident found members of Congress had been drinking, he said alcohol did not play a role.
Yoder said he and his wife, Brooke, who was with him, had wine with dinner, but “alcohol did not play a role.”
Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon called Yoder’s behavior “inexcusable” and said if the incident had occurred in Kansas, he would be forced to resign. She later issued a statement calling for him to step down.
Kevin Yoder is likely to win re-election in November, running against only a little-known Libertarian opponent. Observers say Kansas politics still expect Yoder to easily defeat Joel Balam, a college professor, court translator and chaplain who is not familiar to most voters.