Clinton in Congo: 'My husband is not the Secretary of State. I am.'

At a town hall forum Monday in Kinshasha, Congo, Mrs. Clinton parried a question about Bill.

By , Staff writer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed what Agance France-Presse calls "a rare flash of public anger" during a seven-country trip to Africa on Monday.

On the first of a two-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo to push for peace and an end to the shocking amount of sexual violence seen in the country's war-torn east (click here to read an in-depth Monitor story on that), a university student did the unthinkable.

At an open forum for young people in the country's capital, Kinshasa, he asked her husband's opinion about the involvement of China and the World Bank in Congo.

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"What does Mr. Clinton think about it?" he said, perhaps unaware of the irony, given not only that Mrs. Clinton is the Secretary of State but that she has long been a forceful advocate for women's rights and was in the country specifically to highlight abuse of women as a weapon of war.

"You want to know what my husband thinks?" Clinton reportedly replied in a forceful voice. "My husband is not the secretary of state, I am. You ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to channel my husband."

He wasn't the only student with a politically incorrect question. Before the forum Monday, Clinton toured a hospital built by NBA star Dikembe Mutombo. He contributed $19 million to the project.

But the Associated Press reports that one university student was unimpressed by his generosity. He asked Mutombo why had hadn't gone into a more lucrative business after retiring from the NBA.

Mutombo, a one-time medical student, replied softly that he had been inspired by his mother, who had been unable to get needed treatment before she died in 1998.

Check out the Monitor's coverage today of Clinton's trip:

Will Clinton press for peace in Congo?Hillary Clinton aims to revive US influence in Angola

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