The U.S. has described the reports of collecting more than 70 million recordings of French citizens telephone records as “false” and subsequently the news reports published in a French newspaper as inaccurate and misleading regarding foreign intelligence activities.

“Articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding U.S. foreign intelligence activities,” James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said in a statement.

“The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million recordings of French citizens telephone data is false” said Mr. Clapper.

The official statement came days after the French newspaper reported about the phone tappings by U.S. from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former CIA contractor.

“While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.

The U.S. collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Mr. Clapper said.

“The United States values our long standing friendship and alliance with France and we will continue to cooperate on security and intelligence matters going forward,” he said.

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