Since she was elected president of the National Front in 2011, Marine Le Pen’s grand strategy has been to “de-demonize” the far-right party her father founded, which was known as a haven for Third Reich apologists. This new approach has translated into the near-complete deletion of overt anti-Semitic references in public speeches and the side-lining of the party’s most controversial figures.
Still, the Front’s roots resurface. During the presidential campaign, several members of Le Pen’s close entourage have been suspected of sympathy for neo-Nazi groups and anti-Semitic propaganda. Most recently, two French newspapers, Marianne and Mediapart revealed that, for years, Le Pen’s treasurer published radical posts on Facebook under different pseudonyms for yeares.
Axel Loustau, 46, plays a central role in the National Front. Last week, the far-right leader jumped to his defense when a TV journalist confronted Le Pen with a photo of Loustau seemingly giving a Nazi salute at his birthday party in 2011. “Are you kidding me?,” Le Pen erupted, claiming that her treasurer was simply waving at friends.
Loustau himself took it to Twitter, accusing the journalist of being a “scumbag” before deleting his tweet.
The latest revelations on Loustau show that he used aliases to publish numerous provocative messages. In one of them, he shared a photo of a swastika made up of rice seeds and commented: “A good plate of rice. So easy…” In another post, published in 2013, Loustau reacted to a rise in gas prices in the Parisian region and wrote: “6 million inhabitants bothered with gas…. pppppffff”
Loustau, who has not yet reacted to these disclosures, is a National Front candidate for the legislative election that will take place in June.