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20 Feb, 2017 13:14

US intel ‘routinely taps Russian ambassador’s communications’ – Lavrov

US intelligence services have made it clear to the media that they regularly tap the communications of the Russian ambassador to the US, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“In connection with the scandal that was built up around Trump’s adviser, General Flynn, US intelligence services told journalists absolutely officially, though anonymously – that our ambassador’s [Sergey Kislyak] communications are routinely tapped,” Lavrov told journalists.

The tapping includes “his reports to Moscow about his activities in Washington,” the minister added.

Lavrov also called to pay attention to the activities of those who attempt “to survey any processes all over the globe, including via means that are known to be not quite legitimate.”

Mike Flynn resigned from his position as national security advisor to President Donald Trump on February 14, following reports that he had misled Vice-President Mike Pence on the contents of his phone call with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. The call took place during the White House transition under President Barack Obama.

“In the course of my duties as the incoming National Security Advisor, I held numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers, and ambassadors,” Flynn wrote in his resignation letter. “Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice-resident-elect and others with the incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador.”

In Flynn's last interview hours before the resignation, given to the Daily Caller News Foundation, he said that the call was not “about sanctions” and “there were no lines crossed.” He also called the leaks “a criminal act.”

“In some of these cases, you’re talking about stuff that’s taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter. That’s a crime,” Flynn said. “You call them leaks. It’s a criminal act. This is a crime. It’s not just a wink and a nod.”