U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul says the Russian government recorded his private conversations.
McFaul told NBCâ€™s â€śMeet the Pressâ€ť on Sunday that in Russia, recording private phone conversations and tapping emails is a legal activity.
"As we remind all Americans that come to this country, the Russian government has tremendous capabilities and, legal by their law, of intercepting phone calls, e-mails, et cetera,â€ť he said.
He claimed he was a target of Russian wiretapping.
â€śThere is no doubt that I am a primary subject of interest for them, and from time to time they have also leaked conversations I've had that I thought were private," he said. â€śThatâ€™s just the state of working in Russia.â€ť
"It is interesting to me that this doesnâ€™t get more attention to our critics,â€ť he added.
â€śDo you think that Russiaâ€™s gotten the message about gay rights or has it chosen to ignore it?â€ť asked NBC host David Gregory.
â€śNo, they got the message,â€ť McFaul responded. â€śThey know exactly where we stand on that issue, and Iâ€™m very proud of the way weâ€™ve communicated our views on that issue.â€ť
â€śDo you think thereâ€™s going to be any movement, significantly, within the country on it?â€ť Gregory asked.
â€śItâ€™s a bigger issue. Itâ€™s a harder issue because of the domestic politics here,â€ť McFaul said.
McFaul has been the ambassador for two years. He plans to leave his post at the conclusion of the Olympics to return to Stanford University.
â€śHe and his wife decided that after seven months of living on opposite ends of the globe, it is time for the family to be reunited,â€ť the embassy said in a statement.Â