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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 16th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Are U.S.-supplied weapons being used in Egyptian massacres?

The U.S. has provided tens of billions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian military over the years, mostly in the form of assets, weapons, and ammunition. And even after the recent violence in Egypt, the U.S. is still giving the Egyptian military $1.3 billion a year.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki side stepped questions of whether U.S.-supplied munitions are now being used to kill civilians in the street, saying instead that the administration is closely monitoring the events in Egypt.

"You can't have business as usual when hundreds of civilians are being killed in the street, but we have a broad and strategic relationship with Egypt that's gone on for decades," Psaki said. 

"We've taken some steps to cut off certain forms of aid but we're continuing to evaluate day by day," said Psaki.

Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley argued that if the U.S. had called the ouster of Morsy a coup right away, it would have had more influence.

"We missed an opportunity six weeks ago to call it a coup. The fact that we haven't undermines the credibility of the United States in the region," Crowley said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper" Thursday. "I would have suspended military aid six weeks ago to get the Egyptian military invested in their own road map and said, 'Look, we're going to suspend it. By law, we have to.'" 

"The reason that we continue to provide aid to Egypt is about a broad, long-term relationship that has to do with our own
national security, regional stability," said Psaki.

The U.S. also believes "that in order to help the Egyptian people and the country get back to a long-term and sustainable democracy, that it's important to continue to be a partner," said Psaki.

The United States issued a global travel alert and closes several embassies in the Middle East due to al Qaeda threats earlier this month. Most of the U.S. embassies across the Muslim world have since reopened.

Psaki did not comment on whether the terror threat was over. She said facilities remain closed in Lahore, Pakistan, and that the State Department continues to "make decisions day by day."

"There's been some confusion, especially in Egypt. We've had a travel warning in place there since July 3rd. We have updated it to ask American citizens to abide by the curfews that have been put in place," said Psaki. "We still do not certainly support the state of emergency that's been put in place."

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