Donald Trump deletes baffling late-night ‘covfefe’ tweet

Tweet by US president leads to much confusion and speculation on its meaning

Just after midnight in Washington, Donald Trump tweeted: "despite the constant negative press covfefe". That was it. No more. Just that word 'covfefe' left hanging there.

It left many of his 31 million followers on Twitter baffled, and slightly concerned.

The tweet was active on Trump’s account without comment or clarification earlier on Wednesday, but was deleted several hours later.

It received more than the usual level of interest attracted by Trump’s tweets.


That it had not been immediately deleted was confusing to users, who leapt to speculate what, exactly, Trump might have meant by “covfefe”.

The Urban Dictionary promptly made an entry for the word, defining it as: “When you want to say “coverage” but your hands are too small to hit all the letters on your keyboard”.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary, which has a track record of fact-checking Trump’s tweets and neologisms on Twitter, decided to sit this one out.

Others suggested the tweet had taken the heat off US comedian Kathy Griffin, who had earlier been under fire for posting a video in which she held a replica of Trump's severed bloody head.

Asked at a briefing whether people should be concerned that the president sent out an incoherent Tweet and left it up for hours, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: "No."

“I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer added when asked why the Tweet remained uncorrected for so long on Trump’s personal @realDonaldTrump account.

Kristina Wong, a US comedian, observed that the domain Covefefe. com had been promptly snapped up.

The actor, Zach Braff, predicted Sean Spicer's wholehearted defence of the word.

“Covfefe” was trending in the US as Twitter rushed to get its gags in.

Trump has been known to tweet on both Android and Apple devices in the past, but the "covfefe" tweet in question had been sent from the Twitter app on an iPhone.

The news site Axios had reported on Thursday that the POTUS’ current device was an iPhone with only one app: Twitter.

It cited anonymous White House officials who said that limiting screen time was key to “forcing a more disciplined President Trump,” as witnessed on his overseas tour:

“In Trump’s case, it’s curtailing his time watching TV and banging out tweets on his iPhone. Trump himself has been pushing staff to give him more free time.

“But staff does everything it can to load up his schedule to keep him from getting worked up watching cable coverage, which often precipitates his tweets. It has worked well overseas so far.”