Kerry jokes that he might ‘screw up’ as secretary of state


File: Secretary of State John Kerry (AP Photo)

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, fresh off a diplomatic flap in which he suggested Israel could become an "apartheid state," joked over the weekend that only a "screw up" would prevent him from serving out the rest of the Obama administration.

Kerry told embassy staff in Luanda, Angola, that he wishes he had more time than that.

"I only have two years and three quarters left as the secretary, provided I don’t screw up in the next few months," Kerry said Sunday. "And I have to tell you that I’m looking at all of these opportunities everywhere I go and the changes that are coming."

In Kerry's "apartheid state" comment, which the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin caught at what was supposed to be a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission, the secretary suggested Israel could become such a state in the absence of a peace deal with Palestinians.

The comment earned the ire of some conservatives -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) called for Kerry's resignation -- and of Israel's deputy defense minister, Danny Danon.

Kerry later said that he wished he would have chosen different words.

(h/t Weekly Standard)

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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