Trump's cryptic tweet trend on social media
WASHINGTONNot for the first time, a Donald Trump tweet has lit up the internet. But this time, users the world over have been left scratching their heads over “covfefe”: a bizarre word apparently created by the president.
“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” read the U.S. leader’s tweet on May 31.
Was it an acronym? A secret message? Or just a typo? Wags around the world weighed in with biting sarcasm, and #covfefe quickly became the top trending item on Twitter.
Comments included a mock Google translation of “covfefe” from Russian into English as “I resign,” and comments like “Drain the covfefe” – a play on Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.
“‘Covfefe’ is a great word, period! - Sean Spicer tomorrow,” read one tweet, mentioning the president’s spokesman.
To avoid confusion, the Regent’s English Language Center in London wrote: “To all of our English language students, we can confirm that ‘covfefe’ is not an English word. Yet.”
Four hours later the tweet had been neither corrected nor deleted, nor was there any hint of what Trump was trying to say.
At 8:30 a.m. (GMT), Trump’s “covfefe” tweet had more than 105,000 retweets and had been shared 35,000 times, according to Twitter figures.
Since entering office, Trump has used Twitter to issue declarations on everything from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV performance to an alleged “MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany.”
The strange tweet came hours after a top communications aide to Trump resigned, in what many inside and outside the White House see as the first shoe to drop before a wider overhaul.
Fresh off Trump’s first official trip abroad, his administration is looking for ways to respond more aggressively to allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and revelations of possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
White House communications director Michael Dubke announced his resignation on May 30.
Dubke said in a statement it had been an honor to serve Trump and “my distinct pleasure to work side by side, day by day with the staff of the communications and press departments.”
However, Trump has privately and publicly pinned much of the blame for his administration’s woes on the communications effort.
“In terms of messaging, I would give myself a C or a C plus,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel early in his term. “In terms of achievement, I think I’d give myself an A. Because I think I’ve done great things, but I don’t think I have - I and my people, I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American public.”
Trump has long believed that he is his most effective spokesperson and has groused about supporters and aides not defending him vigorously enough. At the same time, he often undermines his staffers, contradicting their public statements and sending inflammatory tweets that derail their efforts to stay on topic.
Spicer pushed back on May 30 on the idea that a broader reorganization was imminent, but he acknowledged the president is frustrated with news stories “that are absolutely false, that are not based in fact. That is troubling.”