This undated photo released by the U.S. State Department shows U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens in an official portrait. Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/U.S. State Department)
A U.S. State Department spokesman says CNN reported on the personal journal of slain American ambassador Christopher Stevens over objections from his family.
The news channel posted in a story online Saturday that it found a journal belonging to Stevens four days after he died in a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The Northern California native and three other embassy staff members were killed.
State Department spokesman Philippe Reines says CNN broke a pledge to the late ambassador's family that it wouldn't report on the diary. Reines is a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
He called CNN's actions "indefensible." CNN did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The channel said in the story online that it took "newsworthy tips" from Stevens' diary and confirmed them with other sources.