US President Barack Obama said on Monday he was “not going to tolerate the use of the word ‘fake news'” by Russian authorities.
In an interview with the BBC, Obama said the US had been “looking at some of the things that the Russians are doing with their propaganda” and had “seen it a little bit differently”.
“What I am going to be doing is calling them on it and saying that we are going to make sure that we have the best of intentions when it comes to our use of technology,” Obama said.
The US president also said Russia was “trying to undermine democracy” in the US by “pandering to racist views”.
Obama’s comments come a day after the US intelligence community said it had concluded that Russia used the term “fake media” in order to influence the 2016 US election, after US officials accused the Kremlin of using fake news in its propaganda campaigns.
“I’m not going to put a dollar figure on it but I think it’s a lot of dollars that the Russian government has spent,” he said.
“It’s probably worth trillions of dollars to have them try and interfere in our democracy.”
Obama’s remarks came as US lawmakers also renewed calls for Russia to investigate the use by the Kremlin to influence last year’s US election.
The Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into whether the Kremlin “attempted to undermine” US democracy by using “fake” news, which included articles published on social media, to influence voters.US officials also accused the Russian authorities of using “troll” sites and social media to spread disinformation during the election campaign, including the use in particular of “Pizzagate” conspiracy theories that alleged Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was involved in child sex trafficking.
In the interview, Obama also warned that the US would not accept Russia’s actions to undermine US democracy.
“We’re not going for that kind of behavior,” Obama told the BBC.
“That’s not the kind of democracy we want to be a part of.”
He also said that Russia was not using the term to refer to the US, but instead to Russian citizens who worked abroad and were considered “collaborators”.
The president also told the US Congress that the United States had to “act fast” to stem the tide of “fake journalism” in its media outlets.
“If we want our democracy to survive, we have to be able to look at the content of the content that we send out to our friends and allies, because what we’re seeing is that in a lot.
We’re seeing that in Russia, in some cases, the information that we’re sending out is fake,” Obama added.
The White House also released a statement to say that “the Russian government does not recognize the US government’s decision to remove the term ‘fake’ from its propaganda”.
“Instead, the Russian regime seeks to manipulate and control the narrative in order for its citizens to feel good about themselves and about their country,” the statement said.
Obama said he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in New York, in an attempt to discuss the situation.
“The President will ask the Russian leader about the extent of our cooperation and to work together to resolve the crisis in Ukraine,” the White House said.