On May 5th, after #MacronLeaks was launched by Alt-Right social media propagandists, I noticed the competing hashtag: #Bayrougate.

The trend for this #Bayrougate was choked off by pro Le Pen bots/trolls (majority of which were geo pegged as Russian), with random noise such as: pictures and videos of the earth or nature, anti-Macron heckler memes, or tweets full of nothing but hashtags or people asking ‘What is this?” in French.

A French reporter then started spamming an article he wrote, announcing a huge secret… that ‘this’ is what #Bayrougate is about. In summary, his article seemed to expose suppression of anti-Macron reports in French media, and how the French government/elites had joined forces against Le Pen out of fear of Nationalism and far-right extremism.

After France’s campaign ‘quiet time’ was initiated, pro Le Pen bots/trolls started tweeting #Macrongate and #Bayrougate together, and #Bayrougate became synonymous w/ suppression of the press. Example: “#Bayrougate won’t let us talk about #Macrongate anymore… the globalists are protecting him, denying the people the truth.” Le Pen, herself, tweeted such nonsense… after quiet time was initiated, I might add.

But this narrative made absolutely no sense to me. What did any of this have to do with Bayrou? Nothing. Why were pro Le Pen bots/trolls (who are also Pro Trump), working so hard to bury a story that made Macron look bad? And why did those same bots/trolls then start bringing attention to the very hashtag they had successfully buried?

I sifted through tweets in the #Bayrougate search feed, painstaking putting all the French tweets through a translator and discovered that #Bayrougate is not a new hashtag. It’s an old one that had to do with a problem Le Pen and Bayrou had with each other prior to the first round of their Presidential election. Like the revived hashtag, the original had something to do with freedom of the press. It was about how Le Pen couldn’t just do or say whatever she wanted in the name of politics… and it included a counter narrative that wondered why the French media was keen to print terrible things about Le Pen but not her opponents. The courts had ruled that while libel is illegal in France, and while libelous rhetoric is not allowed in their politics… certain media attacks against Le Pen were allowed: She did misappropriate funds from the EU, and… it is okay to call her a Fascist because she is one.

But this is an old story. Why had the hashtag been revived? Because this recently published article brought it back to life, with new developments, and they needed to silence emerging conversations.

  • Conversations about how, if elected President, the EU wants to dock Le Pen’s MEP salary until she pays back the $5 million she misappropriated.
  • Conversations about how Le Pen had been “proven” in a court of law to be corrupt.
  • Conversations about how she is not only a Fascist, but one who is facing criminal prosecution for promoting anti-Muslim extremism… and how can the people elect a President who will likely soon be convicted of such a crime? Will even more charges be brought against her?
  • Conversations about how Le Pen had to borrow money from Putin because neither French nor European banks were willing, nor are they ever likely, to give her a dime… and if she can’t even earn a living to pay him back… how would that effect her loyalties and ability to govern for The People of France?
  • Conversations about Le Pen’s actual motives for destroying the European Union. For France? For the Kremlin? Or for her own personal benefit?
  • Conversations about how it really is okay to have these conversations about Le Pen without fear of facing libel charges… because judicial rulings against her make these issues legitimate.

The real #Bayrougate story of 2017 may not hit the press in time to make a difference in the French election, but it’s still quite newsworthy… and not just because it exposes the reality of who Le Pen is. The mind blowing method in which it was buried reveals just how incredibly crafty the Kremlin can be with its Hybrid-warfare… and how much our International Intelligence Community really needs to step up their game.

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