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

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April 24th, 2013
02:54 PM ET

Biden calls Boston bombing suspects 'knock-off jihadis'

Obama administration officials waded into the Boston Marathon bombing attacks, forcing others in the administration to beat a hasty retreat Wednesday.

Speaking at a memorial service for slain MIT officer Sean Collier, Vice President Joe Biden issued some harsh words for the suspects of the terrorist attack, calling them "two twisted, perverted, cowardly, knock-off jihadis."

The Obama administration quickly moved away from that assessment, with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refusing to speculate on jihadi motivations for the attack.

"There's an investigation under way. We know some things. There's a lot more to learn, and that's why the investigation is taking place," Carney said in response to a reporter's questions on Biden's comments.

Travelling overseas, Secretary of State John Kerry cited foreign motivations for the attack Wednesday.

"We just had a young person who went to Russia, Chechnya, who blew people up in Boston. So he didn’t stay where he went, but he learned something where he went, and he came back with a willingness to kill people," Kerry told a Belgian reporter.

Back in Washington, D.C., the State Department was quick to distance the administration from the Secretary's remarks.

"There's an ongoing FBI investigation, the Secretary was simply expressing broad concern about radicalism, and not necessarily offering any more specific information about this case," said State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

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