Politics

Ambassador Michael McFaul: Russians Tapped My Phone, Leaked Private Conversations (Video)

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul says the Russian government recorded his private conversations.

McFaul told NBC’s “Meet the Press” 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,” he said.

He claimed he was a target of Russian wiretapping.

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“There 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. “That’s just the state of working in Russia.”

"It is interesting to me that this doesn’t get more attention to our critics,” he added.

“Do you think that Russia’s gotten the message about gay rights or has it chosen to ignore it?” asked NBC host David Gregory.

“No, they got the message,” McFaul responded. “They know exactly where we stand on that issue, and I’m very proud of the way we’ve communicated our views on that issue.”

“Do you think there’s going to be any movement, significantly, within the country on it?” Gregory asked.

“It’s a bigger issue. It’s a harder issue because of the domestic politics here,” 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.

“He 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,” the embassy said in a statement. 

Sources: Washington Post, Politico