Secretary of State John Kerry is facing heat from critics after he left a major NATO summit early to attend a showing of the Broadway play Hamilton, State Department officials said.
Kerry was in Warsaw, Poland, this weekend to attend a major summit of NATO powers but departed early from the event (which has been described by a U.S. official as “one of the most important political events of the year”) to catch a viewing of the play.
The department confirmed the secretary of state did attend the musical with his daughter, but he had finalized his work at the summit, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Spokesman John Kirby said Kerry returned to the U.S. earlier for the wedding “of a very dear personal friend of his back in New England.” The play, Kirby added, was merely extra.
“He did go to the musical on Saturday night. That is a fact,” Kirby said. “He did [so] as a private endeavor, something he wanted to do with his daughter. But that had nothing to do with his Warsaw agenda whatsoever, and it had no effect whatsoever on the work that he was able to get done in Warsaw.”
Kirby further added, “Press reporting and speculation out there that he left Warsaw to attend a play is just patently false.”
As reported by the Hill, Kerry was criticized for leaving the summit early. Michael Doran, a former White House official under President George W. Bush tweeted, “John Kerry left the NATO summit early so he could hang out [with] Jane Fonda, JLO, & Charlie Rose.” Fonda, Rose and Jennifer Lopez also attended the play.
The pictures of the play shared on social show Kerry also posed for photographs with fans.