White House suggests Russia behind leaked call from State Dept. official

February 6, 2014

White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested Thursday that Russia is behind the leaking of an alleged phone call between a top State Department official and an ambassador, on which the State Department official says, "F--- the E.U."

In the phone call, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland can be heard uttering those words while talking to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt about the European Union's role on tamping down political unrest in that country.

"The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government; I think it says something about Russia's role," Carney said.

Asked whether he was accusing the Russian government of eavesdropping on the call, Carney said he was not and referred further questions to the State Department.

"I'm just noting that they tweeted it out," Carney said, declining to specifically discuss the content of the call.

On the call, Nuland can also be heard saying she doesn't want opposition leader Vitali Klitschko -- a well-known heavyweight boxer and member of Ukrainian parliament -- to join the government.

Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics starting Thusday in Sochi.

For more, see Anne Gearan's piece.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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