Politico reports Rep. Tom Reed of New York told a local TV station, ““It was one of those moments where we decided, it’s a long hot day and everyone else is going swimming, we’ll go swimming,” Reed said, in the interview posted on YNN’s website. “But obviously when Congressman Yoder disrobed, that was inappropriate and it ceased the activity immediately.”
Reed said he and his wife also entered the water, but were not naked.
More from Politico: “the political fallout following the revelation of a lawmaker going skinny-dipping has been sharp, turning what was a routine Israel trip into fodder for tabloid headlines and comedians.”
Politico’s report continues, “Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) accused his primary opponent — Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) — of leaking the story to POLITICO. Schweikert denied he has provided information to reporters about the incident. Schweikert is using it to paint Quayle as irresponsible. Quayle said he went swimming to collect water for his daughter’s baptism.”
Yoder has apologized for the skinny dip.
According to Politico, he was not the only member of the Congressional delegation to enter the water where Christians believe Jesus walked on water. Yoder, however, was the only one to do so naked.
Yoder was part of a trip to Israel that was sponsored by American Israel Education Foundation. Politico says a representative of that group paid the bar tab that night after a late night meal. The bill was between $340-$500 dollars.
The FBI investigated the trip because lawmakers can have a meal paid fore by a advocacy group, but members of Congress are not supposed to let others pay for things like “entertainment or recreational activities,” the House Ethics Manual states, according to Politico.