US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account during his first big foreign trip last week had the vibe of a garden-variety politician: statements of solidarity with world leaders, retweets of his wife’s visits with students and sick children, video clips from arrivals and formal ceremonies, and photographs of official dinners.
However, on Wednesday there were signs that Trump had taken control of the account again.
Starting with a message that contained the nonword “covfefe,” Trump posted a string of tweets that showed the president was holding nothing back.
He described the US government’s Russia investigation as a “Witch Hunt!”
He criticized celebrity Kathy Griffin for a video that showed what looked like Trump’s severed head: “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
He stoked suspense about whether he is to pull the US out of an international climate change agreement: “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
He resumed his attacks on his presidential rival last year, tweeting: “Crooked [former US secretary of state] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate.”
The Internet reacted strongly over this post-midnight tweet, which was later deleted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
Former White House (WH) videographer Arun Chaudhary tweeted this theory: “As a human with sleeping issues and a former WH staffer I can safely say Ambien is the source of #covfefe.”
What was Trump trying to say, anyway?
Was it the start of a rant against “negative press coverage” that somehow went awry?
At 6:09am, Trump posted this playful challenge: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
Twitter already had gone into overdrive trying to fill in the blanks, floating both silly and serious scenarios.
One user tweeted that New York’s hottest nightclub is #Covfefe.
“It has everything: Russian entanglements, spray tans, creepy handshakes, surprise trade wars,” the user wrote.
Another suggested “covfefe” was becoming a popular name for babies in states that voted for Trump.
Silicon Valley executive Andrew Crow went so far as to change his last name on Twitter to “Covfefe.”
Jimmy Kimmel lamented that he would never write anything funnier than the term.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham had a pointed political theory: “It’s so bad--the collusion b/t the Dems & the press, the establ vs the ppl, that we needed a new word to describe it all. #Covfefe!”
Even Clinton weighed in:
“It was a hidden message to the Russians,” she joked at a technology conference in Los Angeles.
She also responded to Trump’s “Crooked Hillary” jab by tweeting: “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe.”
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