I’ll add the video when it is available, but for the moment I want to post this without further comment, as reported by the Washington Post’s Philip Bump regarding John Kerry’s interview by Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday this morning. Bump omits Wallace’s reference to the loss of 14 lives as a result of Israel’s operation in Gaza, as I recall the set-up, but gives us Kerry’s live reaction to the report transmitted at the other end of a cell phone conversation preceding the interview:
In an unusual moment during Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace presented Secretary of State John Kerry with video recorded before he came on air.
Wallace presented the segment as being in reference to civilians killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip. “While you were on camera and while on microphone,” Wallace said, “you spoke to one of your top aides between the interviews about the situation in Israel.” He then played what the network had recorded. In the clip, Kerry is holding a cellphone conversation with someone. The person on the other end of the call isn’t identified, and the audio from the other participant is staticky. But Kerry’s comments are clear.
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” he says, then repeats it. “Hell of a pinpoint operation.” It’s an apparent reference to Israel’s insistence that its incursion into the region would be limited. The conversation continues, and Kerry then says, “We’ve got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight.” He then calls it “crazy” to be “sitting around.”
“When you said it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Wallace asked, are you “upset that the Israelis are going too far?”
“It’s very difficult in these situations,” Kerry said, repeating that the United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself. He then explained his comments by saying, “I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians.”
On CBS, Kerry told Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer that he is “planning to go” to Israel, “and probably very shortly.”
UPDATE: Wallace’s lead-in refers to 14 Israelis having been killed, but I think Kerry was responding to reports of Gazan deaths. Here is the video of Kerry on FOX News Sunday: