The Obama administration sought to downplay anti-American protests in Egypt after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade was pelted with shoes and tomatoes on Sunday.
The incident came as Clinton was leaving the port city of Alexandria after delivering a speech on human rights, and a day after her meeting with Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi.
Shoes and a water bottle landed near her motorcade, Reuters reported, and a tomato hit an Egyptian official in the face. The protesters, whose affiliation wasn't immediately clear, also taunted Clinton with shouts of “Monica, Monica,” in reference to her husband Bill Clinton's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky when he was president.
A senior State Department official played down the protest's significance in a briefing with reporters on the way to Israel, Clinton's next stop on her tour.
'Egypt’s a country of 90 million people, and so it’s easy to over-read a small group of pretty energetic protestors and what that says,” the official said.