Fake News Firestorm Hits French Presidential Election

Macron's party chief also said his candidate was the target of a "fake news" campaign from the Russian media, including Sputnik and Russia Today.

"Two big media outlets belonging to the Russian state, Russia Today and Sputnik, spread fake news on a daily basis, and then they are picked up, quoted and influence the democratic [process]", Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron's En Marche! party, told Reuters Monday.

"We had and have no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, espcially in their electoral processes", Peskov stressed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 14 that any such accusations against Russian authorities are "simply absurd". He added: "That there is a hysterical anti-[President Vladimir] Putin campaign in certain countries overseas is an obvious fact".

With the political air in France highly-charged in the run-up to the May election, the French government has declined to point the finger at anyone despite high-level concerns of external meddling in campaigning. "The Americans have realised that too late", he said.

France's Far-Right Marine Le Pen: If Elected, Jews Must Renounce Israeli Citizenship

Meyer Habib, a Jewish member of the French National Assembly, lashed out at far-right leader Marine Le Pen over her promise to ban non-European dual citizenships, including Israeli ones, needling her over her father's frequent anti-Semitic comments and praise for Nazism.

"It is clear that the far-right and the right and their candidates are rather well regarded (in Russia) while we call for a strong Europe, a powerful Europe".

Ferrand said Macron's campaign was being hit by "hundreds if not thousands" of attacks on its networks, databases and sites from locations inside Russian Federation. He added that the attacks seem to be " organized and coordinated by a structured group, not by solitary hackers". The first round of the French presidential election is scheduled for April 23.

Griveaux on Tuesday also pointed a finger at Russian Federation over a flurry of cyberattacks on Macron's campaign site in the past month.

"By citing various opinions expressed by people involved in the election campaign, Sputnik always covers events as they are", it said.

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