WASHINGTON - A US State Department spokesman sharply criticized CNN on Saturday, saying the network had reported on the diary of American ambassador Christopher Stevens after his death at the US consulate in Libya despite the objections of his family.

State Department spokesman Philippe Reines said CNN took Stevens' personal journal from the site where he and three other Americans were killed in an armed attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11 and used it in reporting on the story despite the express wishes of his family members.

"Whose first instinct is to remove from a crime scene the diary of a man killed along with three other Americans serving our country, read it, transcribe it, email it around your newsroom for others to read, and only when their curiosity is fully satisfied thinks to call the family or notify the authorities?" Reines said in a statement.

CNN responded that it did not initially report on the existence of the journal out of respect for the family, but ultimately "felt there were issues raised in the journal which required full reporting."

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