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Washington (AFP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to criticize Israel in candid remarks caught on an open microphone between television interviews Sunday.

Kerry was heard talking about Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza to a State Department official identified as Jonathan Finer just before appearing on the “Fox News Sunday” political talk show.

“I hope they don’t think that’s an invitation to go do more,” Kerry says. “That better be the warning to them.”

A frustrated Kerry then says: “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” in apparent frustration over the civilian toll in the Israeli operation.

The Palestinian death toll topped 500 on Sunday as Israel pressed a ground offensive into the densely packed Gaza Strip after two weeks of aerial attacks.

“We’ve got to get over there,” Kerry is heard saying on the Sunday recording. “I think, Jon, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around. Let’s go.”

When confronted over the remarks by Fox host Chris Wallace, Kerry reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense.

“I think it’s very, very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult,” Kerry said.

“You have people who’ve come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that. And we support Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young — you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It’s disgraceful,” Kerry said.

“It’s tough to have this kind of operation. I reacted obviously in a way that … anybody does with respect to young children and civilians.

“But war is tough, and I’ve said that publicly and I’ve said it again. We defend Israel’s right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels,” Kerry said.

Kerry then urged Hamas to “step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives.”

Kerry traveled to Cairo early Monday for crisis talks on Gaza, following President Barack Obama’s call for an “immediate ceasefire” between Israelis and Palestinians in the conflict.

AFP Photo / Shah Marai

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Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)