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White House Repudiates U.S. Embassy Apology to Rioting Muslims in Cairo

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"The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government."   Mitt Romney responds: "It's disgraceful..." --

Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. Egyptian protesters, largely ultra conservative Islamists, have climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, went into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with Islamic inscription, in protest of a film deemed offensive of Islam.Credit: AP

The White House is repudiating a statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo that apologized for individuals who "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." The apology came after rioting Islamists in Egypt on Tuesday took down the American flag at the embassy and tore it apart after trying to burn it because they were upset about an anti-Muslim film being produced in America.

"The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government," a senior Obama administration official told Politico.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo put out the following statement early Tuesday:

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

The Cairo embassy was bombarded with criticism for not defending free speech when responding to acts of violence. Later on Tuesday, an American was killed at the U.S. consulate in Libya by rioting Muslims upset over the previously mentioned anti-Islam film.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the film depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammed as a "womanizer, pedophile and fraud."

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney released a statement in response to the developments in Egypt and in Libya, saying it is "disgraceful" that the Obama administration's initial response was to "sympathize" with the Muslim demonstrators.

“I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” Romney said in the statement.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a balanced approach and condemned the mobs' action while also criticizing the film and declaring the United States' commitment to "religious tolerance."

"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear:  There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind," Clinton said in a statement Tuesday.

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