Nightly News   |  May 14, 2013

American diplomat allegedly caught spying in Russia

Ryan Fogle, a 29-year-old U.S. Embassy employee, was reportedly caught trying to recruit a Russian intelligence official to work for the CIA.  NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now let's go back to the future. this next story makes it seem as if the old soviet union never went away and the cold war is going full bore. it's a classic spy story in a way. an american man has been detained in moscow accused of being a cia officer trying to turn a spy. our report from chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell .

>> reporter: it was a lead story on russia's state-owned cable news tonight. u.s. embassy employee supposedly caught spying in moscow, shown being stripped of his disguise, allegedly trying to recruit a russian for the cia . in a scene out of "the cold war " 29-year-old ryan fogle, a low-level diplomat allegedly caught with a spy's toolkit, wigs, sunglasses, maps, money, even a letter offering his russian contact up to $1 million a year "to discuss your experience, expertise and cooperation" and instructions for opening a gmail account and address to write. the cia and state department weren't talking. the russians released fogle to the u.s. embassy . he'll probably be sent home. on twitter u.s. ambassador michael mcfall had no comment. at washington's popular spy museum a former cia spy says it happens all the time.

>> even the disguise material which people have chortled about, i've used disguise so even though it may look sort of corny or sixth grade to people, it can work.

>> reporter: tonight the russians call the incident provocative but u.s. officials don't think it will set back efforts to improve relations, blamed by many for not preventing the boston bombing and the standoff in syria. tonight secretary kerry was meeting with his counterpart in sweden presumably not swapping spy stories . andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.