Élysée Palace blocks RT's Ruptly video agency from Macron-May meeting
Ugo Passuello came to the residence of the French president to cover Macron’s meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May. The palace’s press service released a statement ahead of the conference, saying that accessing it would only require a French press card, which Passuello had with him.
However, when he showed it to security he was barred from the event, allegedly over not having accreditation, he said.
“They saw the word 'Ruptly' on it. Several minutes later they told me Ruptly was not welcome at the Élysée Palace anymore and asked me to leave the place,” Passuello told RT.
Passuello said the palace security didn’t check his name against any list. Instead the guard called somebody on the phone and then simply rejected him.
“I am officially accredited by the Foreign Ministry,” he said. “This is purely political.”
Ruptly asked for clarification from the French president’s administration and has not immediately received it.
“Last time we asked Macron how he plans to work with foreign media. Voila!” commented RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.
The French president previously branded RT and the Russian news agency Sputnik “deceitful propaganda” and implied that people working for them are not “real journalists.”
“I have always had an exemplary relationship with foreign journalists, but they have to be real journalists,” Macron told RT France head Xenia Fedorova during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Versailles. “All foreign journalists, including Russian journalists, had access to my campaign.”
The dismissive remark came in response for comments on his campaign’s obstruction of RT and Sputnik during the election track. RT journalists were barred from the candidate’s HQ without a proper explanation.
In March, Macron’s aide Mounir Mahjoubi accused RT and Sputnik of being the “first source of false information shared about our candidate.” Accusations of false reporting also came from Richard Ferrand, Macron’s En Marche! Party, back in February.
No example of the alleged misinformation was ever provided.
RT said it “adamantly” denied these unfounded allegations.
“It seems that it has become acceptable to level such serious charges at RT without presenting any evidence to substantiate them, as well as to apply this ‘fake news’ label to any reporting that one might simply find unfavorable,” RT’s Press Office said in response to Ferrand’s remarks.