French presidential candidate 'attacked by fake news from Russia' ahead of Marine Le Pen fight

Emmanuel Macron campaign a target for Russian fake news campaign, claims party chief

Richard Ferrand claim the Russians see the pro-EU leader as a threat

Monday, February 13, 2017

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has allegedly been blitzed by fake news from Russia's state-owned media, just weeks ahead of the election.

The secretary-general of Macron's En Marche! (Onwards!) party, Richard Ferrand, has claimed that Russia Today and Sputnik are spreading false reports about the candidate as an attempt to drain his support basis.

The basis for Ferrand's claim was a report Sputnik ran earlier this month. In the report a French lawmaker accused Macron of being an "agent of the big American banking system", because of his time as a former investment banker. 

Speaking on Monday (February 13), Ferrard claimed the campaign is coming under heavy cyber-attack because Macron, a strong advocate of the European Union, wants a united Europe to perform on the world stage and be capable of standing up to Russia. 

Macron is due to face off against conservative Francois Fillon, leftist Benoit Hamon and far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen in France's presidential election this spring.

Of the four candidates Le Pen is the most overtly hostile to the EU, although Fillon has said the bloc is "useless" and demanded urgent reform. Hamon, widely described as the 'French Jeremy Corbyn' is strongly pro-EU. 

The first round of the election is to take place on April 23. 

UPDATE: Russia Today have denied these allegations.