Utah Senator Mitt Romney admitted late Sunday that he has been lurking on Twitter for nearly a decade, using the social media service anonymously to criticize President Trump and defend himself from online critics.
The account, under the name “Pierre Delecto,” was public until Sunday night and followed members of the Romney family, the official Romney 2012 channels, a handful of reporters who covered his presidential campaign that year, and comedians such as Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. It’s existence was first reported by Slate’s Ashley Feinburg, who also uncovered former FBI director James Comey’s secret Twitter account.
Before it was hidden, the account showed less than a dozen tweets, most of them in recent months. The account liked several tweets that were harshly critical of Trump, including one that supported invoking the 25th amendment to remove the president from office. Another tweet was a reply to a conservative critic at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, who said his strategy “bordered on spinelessness.”
“Jennifer, you need to take a breath,” Delecto replied to Rubin. “Maybe you can then acknowledge the people who agree with you in large measure even if not in every measure.”
Feinburg began nosing around for the account when Romney told an interviewer from The Atlantic magazine that he follows political Twitter from a secret account but did not reveal any more details. Feinburg, sifting through clues in the accounts of Romney’s immediate relatives, traced the account to a person using the handle @qaws9876 that was one of 481 followers of the Republican Senator’s oldest grandchild.
Romney fessed up to the lurking when asked about it by The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins. “C’est moi,” he told Coppins.
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) October 21, 2019