Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has snapped at a Congolese university student after, as she heard it, he asked what her husband thought about an international financial matter.
"My husband is not secretary of state, I am," she said. "I am not going to be channelling my husband."
Mrs Clinton was speaking in Kinshasa during a seven-nation trip through Africa.
"You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?" she asked incredulously when the student raised a question about a multibillion-dollar Chinese loan offer to Congo.
"If you want my opinion, I will tell you my opinion," she said. "I am not going to be channelling my husband."
The moderator quickly moved on.
State Department officials said the student approached Mrs Clinton afterward and told her he had meant to ask what Mr Obama, not Bill Clinton, thought about the Chinese loan. A senior Clinton aide said that Mrs Clinton assured the student not to worry about it.
The question, according to the State Department translation, went like this: "Thank you. Mrs Clinton, we've all heard about the Chinese contracts in this country. The interference is from the World Bank against this contract. What does Mr. Clinton think through the mouth of Mrs. Clinton and what does Mr. Mutombo think on this situation? Thank you very much."
It was unclear whether the French-speaking student or translator had erred. Either way, she was not pleased at the mention of her husband's name.
Mrs Clinton quickly recovered her cool and moved on to other subjects.
Just before the question, another student had asked if the US and the West felt a need to apologise to the people of Congo for colonialism and postcolonial interference.
That brought a pointed rebuttal as well.
"I cannot excuse the past and I will not try," she said. "We can either think about the past and be imprisoned by it or we can decide we're going to have a better future and work to make it."