French President, in Press Conference With Putin, Says Russian State Media Spread "Lies" About Him
Emmanuel Macron argued Kremlin-funded Russia Today and Sputnik were "agents of influence" in France's presidential election.
French President Emmanuel Macron has denounced Kremlin-funded TV network Russia Today (RT) and news agency Sputnik, saying they spread "lies" about him and his campaign.
He made the comments during a Monday press conference with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
"I have an excellent relationship with foreign journalists on the condition that they act like journalists," Macron said. "When press services disseminate inflammatory untruths, they are not journalists anymore, they are agents of influence."
Addressing his presidential election campaign, he said: "Russia Today and Sputnik were agents of influence in this campaign and, on several occasions, disseminated lies about myself and my campaign."
During Macron's election campaign, RT and Sputnik were denied access to his campaign headquarters.
RT shrugged off Macron's accusations. "It is disappointing that what started as a rather productive conversation between the leaders of the two countries turned into another opportunity for President Macron to levy baseless accusations against RT," RT's editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"In fact, despite the numerous accusations made throughout the duration of the French presidential campaign, to this day not a single example, not a single piece of evidence has been presented to support the claims that RT spread any slander or ‘fake news' about Mr. Macron – neither by the Macron team nor by the mainstream media that blindly, and without question, challenge or basic fact-checking, then printed Macron staffers’ false claims as gospel," she added.
Putin did not comment on Macron's statement.