06:45 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Pauvre Emmanuel! Macron Claims to Be Target of Sputnik Faux News

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    French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron's team on Saturday repeated its unfounded "fake news" accusations against the Russian-based RT channel and the Sputnik news agency.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —In an interview aired on the Sky News channel, Macron's digital campaign manager Mounir Mahjoubi accused Sputnik and RT of working with "fascist" and  "extreme right new" organizations.

    "We are accusing Russia Today [RT] and Sputnik News [of being] the first source of false information shared about our candidate and all the other symbiotic ways of working with all these fascist organizations or extreme right news organizations," Mahjoubi said.

    Mahjoubi went on to claim that Macron's En Marche! (Forward) party had been subjected to cyberattacks leading to its main website and its donations website being temporarily down. The aide did not outright pin the attacks on Russia, stating that their anonymous nature made their origin hard to determine.

    Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the RT channel and the Sputnik news agency rejected the allegations, saying that Macron's team is building its election campaign on untruthful "fake news" accusations against the Russian media outlets.

    "We are flattered that Macron's team continues to build the election campaign solely on lies about RT and Sputnik. Not in good taste but quite funny," Simonyan said Saturday.

    In February, Macron's ally and the secretary general of En Marche! Richard Ferrand suggested that RT and Sputnik were spreading false rumors about the candidate and favoring other participants of the presidential race. The fake news were later "used, quoted and influence our democratic life," he said. Ferrand also claimed that his party was subjected to numerous cyberattacks emanating from Russia as party candidate Macron wanted a "strong Europe in the face of Russia," unlike his rivals.

    Both Sputnik and RT issued statements rejecting and condemning the "appalling" claims. Sputnik stressed that it always covers facts and real opinions expressed by people involved in election campaigns regardless of whether anyone finds these unacceptable.

    The Kremlin has also reacted to claims made by Macron's ally, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling these accusations "absurd" and also drawing a parallel with the 2016 US Russian hacking scandal. The spokesman added that Sputnik and RT have not run any negative stories about Macron and Ferrand's words appeared to be a mantra.


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    fake news, French Presidential Election 2017, Sputnik, RT, Emmanuel Macron, France
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