Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi accused the U.S. Embassy in Cairo of "political propaganda" for speaking out against the government's action on satirists critical of his administration, Egyptian news agency al-Ahram reports.
Human rights experts working for the United Nations this week said they were concerned about growing pressure on some of the same groups that brought about the revolution that put Morsi in power.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during a news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se that there are "very real" concerns about the direction in which Morsi's government is headed.
"It is our hope that there is still time to be able to turn the corner," he said. "But the recent arrests, the violence in the streets, the lack of inclusivity with respect to the opposition in public ways that make a difference to the people of Egypt, are all of concern today."
Morsi became the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history in June. He ran as a member of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Kerry said Morsi's policies were undermining the spirit of the Egyptian revolution, however.