"No traces of Russian hackers have been found in France. Which was to be proven [quod erat demonstrandum (q.e.d. in math)]. You [France] won't find anything on Sputnik and RT as well as nothing can be found. Find in your heads," Simonyan told Sputnik.
Earlier in the day, the head of the French National Agency of Information Systems Security (ANSSI) told AP that France has found no traces of Russian hackers in a cyberattack on Macron's campaign.
According to ANSSI Director General Guillaume Poupard, the hacker attack on Macron's campaign "was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone."
Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has repeatedly said that claims of Russia's alleged attempts to interfere in foreign countries' elections, including those in the US, France and Germany, are groundless.
On Friday, less than 48 hours before the French people went to the polls to select their next president, some nine gigabytes of data consisting of thousands of emails, images and email attachments from accounts belonging to Macron's En Marche! movement were anonymously dumped. The candidate's campaign admitted that it had been hacked, but claimed that fake documents had been mixed in with authentic ones to spread lies and confusion ahead of the vote.
Moreover, another Macron ally, Richard Ferrand, the general secretary of En Marche! party, said that Sputnik and RT outlets "spread fake news", which are later "used, quoted and influence our democratic life." Commenting on Ferrand's claims Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Macron's ally was spreading fake news himself by accusing Sputnik of fabrication.
Zakharova recalled that former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had made similar accusations against Russia when information compromising her party was leaked. Clinton said Russia was behind cyberattacks which obtained the information. Russia rejected the claims, while the country's President Vladimir Putin stating that the Russian hacking scandal "hysteria" was fomented to distract people from domestic problems.
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.
refuting accusations by Macron's En Marche! (EM!) party of spreading "fake news" about the candidate's alleged offshore bank accounts. 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.
Recently, Macron himself accused Sputnik and RT of being propaganda media and refused to call the media outlets' reporters journalists during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris. Russian officials said they disagree with Macron, adding that his remark was part of the anti-Russian campaign in the West.