House Republican leaders reprimanded 30 lawmakers last August for antics including drinking and skinny dipping during a fact-finding trip to Israel, according to published reports.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) scolded the lawmakers — many of them freshmen — and senior GOP staffers for a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee. At least one of the lawmakers swam nude, according to a report published Sunday night by Politico. The FBI later inquired about the incident to determine whether there was any impropriety, the report said.

According to the report, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of partially-clothed members, some spouses and family members and the staffers, “more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses” told Politico.

Doug Heye, a spokesman for Cantor, confirmed the report’s accuracy.

Top aides to Yoder did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In a statement to Politico, Yoder said that he and his wife joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee. “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,” Yoder said in the statement. “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.”

Elected in 2010, Yoder represents the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas, which encompasses an area west of Kansas City.

The report said that other lawmakers involved in the late-night swim included Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and his wife; and Reps. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). Quayle faces a competitive primary next week against Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), while Grimm faces a challenging reelection campaign amid ongoing investigations into allegations that followers of a New York City rabbi made illegal campaign contributions to Grimm’s campaign.


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