Benalla confirms post-sacking contact with Macron, says powerful people make president do ‘BULLS**T’
Macron talked to Benalla on the Telegram messenger app, discussing various topics related to statecraft, the ousted aide told Mediapart in an interview on Sunday.
“We talk about different topics, it's often like ‘how do you see things?’ It can be about Yellow Vests, about this-and-that, and about security issues,” he stated, adding that all the “exchanges are on my mobile phone” and it will be very hard for the Elysee to further deny it.
Moreover, the conversations were actually initiated by Macron himself and other members of the administration, Benalla claimed, adding that the communication continued up to the recent scandal over his use of diplomatic passports.
I could have slammed the door and moved on, but they’ve kept asking, so I kept answering.
While Benalla was arguably the main source of scandals and embarrassment for the Macron administration over the past year, the aide insisted that he was actually a good guy, caring for the president.
“I am an outsider who wishes well to the guy [Macron] who trusted him,” Benalla stated. “It disturbs a certain number of people, who are powerful and who act as if the president was under curatorship. They make him do phenomenal bulls**t.”
Benalla first came under the media spotlight when he was caught on tape while getting up-close and personal with protesters during demonstrations in Paris on May 1. The senior official was sporting a riot police helmet, armband and appeared to be “helping” law enforcement in beating up the demonstrators. Benalla was eventually fired in July, as the government faced accusations of trying to sweep the whole affair under the rug.
The ex-aide’s name returned to headlines this month, when it emerged that he toured Africa ahead of Macron’s visit. Benalla arrived in Chad weeks before his former boss on a private jet and met with the President Idriss Déby and his brother Oumar Déby – who leads the Directorate-General of Strategic Reserves handling arms deals.Also on rt.com Macron’s ex-bodyguard tours Africa with diplomatic passport issued after beating protester
While the French presidency insisted that the ex-aide did not have any official role, it turned out that he was holding a diplomatic passport during the visit. Benalla claimed that he got his passport back in October, when an official from Elysee allegedly gave it to him in a street near the palace with only the instruction to not do “stupid things” with it.
“If they do not want me to use these passports, just deactivate them and send them to an archive,” Benalla said, adding that he actually visited a “dozen” countries with the papers, aside from Chad.
The presidency, however, has already dismissed the accusations raised by Benalla as a “a bunch of untruths and approximations,” telling BFM TV the ex-aide has been “avenging his dismissal for a serious misconduct.” Macron’s administration added it was not willing to continue a “dialogue through the media” with the disgraced official.
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