Politico is reporting tonight that a senior administration official has disavowed a statement issued earlier today by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, saying it “does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nonetheless released the following statement, which sounds very much like the original statement released by the embassy. It’s only after the very Obama-like “let me be clear” transition that the tone becomes assertive.

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.

The embassy was ridiculed widely earlier today for its statement, which seemed to place the feelings of Egyptian Muslims above the American value of free expression.

Clinton also confirmed that a State Department official was killed in Benghazi, Libya, during an attack on the U.S. consulate there.