In recent years, a number of spying cases emerged, involving US agencies gathering intelligence about the French government (and everything that’s more or less technological). Each time, the French authorities downplayed the seriousness of the operations carried out by one of its closest strategic ally – quite a delicate situation indeed to explain to your fellow citizens.
Now that former socialist presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of seeking to interfere in the upcoming French elections, opposite sources just disclosed information that shows US intelligence allegedly monitored France’s presidential race very closely in 2012. In the end, the French public opinion knew for very long that “spies do spy” and thus deemed US and Russian intelligence communities seeking to interfere in French politics as business as usual.
Whatever accusations are being made from one side or the other, it’s therefore unlikely to impact how the French see the United States on the one hand and Russia on the other hand. Believing that a foreign country could really change the way France will vote – as if France had no counter-espionage at all – is a bit patronizing to say the least. “Et ce n’est pas très sympa.” (1)
(1) French words for “And that’s not very cool (yo).”