CNN came under fire from Russian officials Friday for reporting “fake news” in connection with Russia’s response to sanctions slapped upon it by President Barack Obama.
On Thursday, Obama ejected 35 Russian intelligence operatives, closed two diplomatic compounds and banned several intelligence-related individuals, agencies and companies in response to the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails.
As the world awaited Russia’s response, CNN reported that “Russian authorities ordered the closure of the Anglo-American School of Moscow,” and cited as its source “a U.S. official briefed on the matter.”
#BREAKING: A US official says Russian authorities ordered the Anglo-American School of Moscow to close as retaliation for US sanctions
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 29, 2016
The K-12 school, operated by the U.S., British, and Canadian embassies, serves about 1,200 students from 60 nations.
“The order also closes access to the US embassy vacation house in Serebryany Bor, near Moscow,” CNN reported.
One catch. Neither happened, according to Russian officials, who commented Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would take no retaliatory steps against the United States.
“U.S. officials ‘anonymously informed’ their media that Russia closed the Anglo-American School in Moscow as a retaliatory measure,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a Facebook post Friday. “That’s a lie.”
“Apparently, the White House has completely lost its senses and began inventing sanctions against its own children,” she added.
“You should not write that ‘Moscow denied…. Or Moscow will not…”. Write as it is: ‘The CNN TV channel and other Western media have again spread false information citing official American sources,’” Zakharova stated.
The school’s Facebook page says only that it “is planning to open as scheduled following the New Year break.”
As reported by Forbes, as of Friday afternoon, “The CNN story of the closure remains on its website as part of a larger article on Obama’s sanctions. No correction was issued. No call to the school was reported by CNN.”
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