"The recipe of a fake about RT and Sputnik from AFP and Macron's team: take a story that has nothing to do with us, describe the step-by-step mechanism for its distribution, which, again, has nothing to do with either the RT or Sputnik, add more righteous anger, and finally, and this is a must, for no particular reason mention RT and Sputnik. It is ready, one can warm up the hysteria about the 'Russian threat' in French society. We are tired of their lies. We will sue them," Simonyan said in a statement.
On Thursday, Macron filed a legal complaint, not targeting any specific party, over allegations that he owned an offshore bank account in the Bahamas. The EM! campaign later issued a statement saying Sputnik and RT had "actively" relayed claims made online and repeated by Macron's right-wing rival Marine Le Pen of Macron having bank accounts in the Bahamas.
Earlier in the day, Sputnik issued a statement refuting accusations by Macron's En Marche! (EM!) party of spreading "fake news" about the candidate's alleged offshore bank accounts.
"The allusion to Sputnik and RT by the Macron campaign in the context of this investigation is absolutely groundless. It is a perfect example of a fabrication aimed at undermining trust among our readers. When Mr Macron’s movement released the statement alleging Sputnik’s involvement in ‘actively spreading’ the information, Sputnik had published only two articles, both based on EM! public statements," Sputnik said in a statement.
Sputnik has published two stories on the offshore allegations. The first covered Macron's rebuttal of the allegations, while the second reported on the complaint filed by his party. The EM! campaign did not respond to an inquiry by Sputnik about the reasons for making the accusations.