The French presidency will hold a top-level meeting soon to address concerns about possible Russian hacking, trolling and disinformation in the upcoming presidential election, the French weekly Le Canard Enchainé reported Wednesday. “The level of concern is such that a meeting of the defense council at the Élysée has been scheduled on this subject,” the newspaper wrote in its Wednesday edition. Le Canard Enchainé, which is known for its mix of investigative reporting and satirical writing, recently published allegations that François Fillon, the conservative candidate for president, hired his wife for a non-existent job. Penelope Fillon was allegedly paid more than €900,000 for work she didn’t carry out.
A defense council is a top-level meeting attended by the president, the prime minister as well as ministers for defense, interior and foreign affairs, finance and the budget. If confirmed, the meeting shows how seriously the French state is taking concerns about Russian hacking in the upcoming election, to be held in two rounds on April 23 and May 7.
Intelligence sources cited by Le Canard Enchainé said that Russia is covertly supporting the candidacy of Marine Le Pen, president of the far-right National Front party.