The Cable

Russian government helping reporters track U.S. ambassador?

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul got a little freaked out this week by the fact that reporters in Moscow are mysteriously turning up everywhere he goes. Today, he learned that the Russian government has been alerting reporters as to his whereabouts on a constant basis. "Everywhere I go NTV is there. Wonder who gives ...

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul got a little freaked out this week by the fact that reporters in Moscow are mysteriously turning up everywhere he goes. Today, he learned that the Russian government has been alerting reporters as to his whereabouts on a constant basis.

"Everywhere I go NTV is there. Wonder who gives them my calendar? They wouldn’t tell me. Wonder what the laws are here for such things?" McFaul tweeted Thursday.

Unsure how the Russia press, which has been severely critical of McFaul, has been able to follow him so closely, he initially concluded they were spying on his personal communications.

"Welceom (sic) to my life. Press has right to film me anywhere. But do they have a right to read my email and listen to my phone?" McFaul tweeted. "I respect press right to go anywhere & ask any question. But do they have a right to read my email and listen to my phone?"

McFaul said that when he asked the "reporters" showing up at his meetings how they knew where he was, they wouldn’t tell him.

Later Thursday, journalist Jace Foster tweeted back to McFaul to clue him in on how the Russian reporters always knew where to find him.

"Your schedule is fair game. We know it because Russian consulate watches you & releases your schedule," she tweeted. "Russia watches your Twitter account too, which is open to the public. Surely you know this."

McFaul seemed relieved to hear that Russian journalists are not tapping his phones. But he emphasized that the U.S. government does not tip off reporters in Washington about the travels of his Russian counterpart.

"I am new to the world of diplomacy and did not [know] this fact. Thanks. I know we do not do the same with Russian ambo in U.S.," McFaul tweeted. "Maybe I should start publishing my schedule? I am always happy to interact with press."

"Ambassador, if you feel it would help & make your life more secure, then perhaps posting when you are publicly available would help," Foster tweeted back.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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