France Investigation

How Macron contradicted his own intelligence services over 'yellow vest' protests

When President Emmanuel Macron spoke to a group of journalists at the end of January this year he claimed there were “40,000 to 50,000 extreme militants” stirring up the 'yellow vest' protests, and he warned that violence was being orchestrated by political hardliners. Yet at the very same time the president's own intelligence services were producing an analysis which came to precisely the opposite conclusion. According to those security agencies, the ultra-right and ultra-left are “virtually non-existent” in the protest marches. Matthieu Suc reports on the president who appears to be ignoring or contradicting his own secret services.

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This is the story of a president who says exactly the opposite of what his intelligence services are telling him. But this story is set not in North America but in the heart of old Europe, and not in the White House but in a room in the seat of French presidential power, the Élysée.

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