(WTVR) – What supposedly started out as a religious experience for several US congressmen in Israel, ended with a skinny-dipping scandal and a lecture from the house majority leader, according to Politico.
According to a new report issued by the political blog,the swim in question took place in the sea of Galilee last summer. Following the summer congressional recess, nearly one in five U.S. congress members took a week-long trip to Israel, sponsored by a pro-Israel lobbyist group.
According to the report, six Republican congressmen and some members of their families took part in the swim, and some of the lawmakers partially disrobed, despite the presence of children. Sources tell politico more than 20 people took part in the late night swim.
The six congressmen that took part: Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.,Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz.; Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif.; and Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.
Yoder sent a statement to Politico, reading:
“A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit. It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”
Some of the Congressmen admitted alcohol may have fueled their decision to strip down.
Politico also reports that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was on the trip–but did not participate in the swim, reprimanded the participants following the excursion.
He supposedly chided them for distracting from the overall mission of the trip–to foster a more friendly relationship between the U.S. and Israel.