(Courtesy: Ben Quayle campaign) Tiffany and Ben Quayle in Israel
A newly released report by Politico.com alleges Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle was one of five congressmen who swam in the Sea of Galilee during a congressional trip to Israel last year.
One of those congressmen is alleged to have swum sans clothing.
According to the report, the FBI probed the trip and interviewed some of those on it. The article said Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-KS, swam naked in the water and might have been drinking.
Many believe the Sea of Galilee is a Christian holy site, where Jesus is said to have walked on water.
Jay Heiler, a spokesperson for the Quayle campaign, said the Republican representative did, indeed, swim in the water but was fully clothed, was not drinking and was part of a group of 20 people that took the dip as part of a religious experience.
Heiler claimed the entire Politico story was leaked by Rep. David Schweikert's campaign. Both he and Quayle, the son of former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, are in a spirited battle for the Republican race in Arizona's 6th Congressional district.
In a statement, Hailer said,
"Ben and his wife Tiffany, were neither party nor witness to any inappropriate behavior. Mr. Schweikert was on the same trip. If Mr. Schweikert has an allegation to make, he needs to make it."
CBS 5 reached out to Schweikert's campaign asking for a response to that statement.
"Here's their problem," said Schweikert, "I'm not the one making the allegation. National newspapers are. "(The unnamed sources) are not from our campaign."
Schweikert would not say whether he saw Quayle in the water. Rather, he simply cited the details of the Politico article.
Tiffany Quayle, Ben Quayle's wife, provided pictures of the trip to CBS 5 News and this statement about the trip:
"Ben and I and our daughter Evie were there together that evening in the Holy Land, although I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her. We were neither party nor witness to any of the inappropriate behavior described in the article, nor were we a part of or aware of any inquiry. We did return to Arizona with some water from the Sea of Galilee to baptize Evie after she was born."
Calls to Yoder's office were not returned.
Copyright 2012 KPHO (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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