WASHINGTON A midnight tweet by Donald Trump unleashed a wave of sometimes mocking speculation by Internet users wondering what the U.S. president meant by writing “covfefe” in an apparently unfinished Twitter post that lingered online for hours.
At 12:06 a.m. ET (0406 GMT), Trump wrote: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
The post, since deleted, was followed by a Trump message at 6:09 a.m. ET (1009 GMT) that sought to put a playful tone on the misfire, saying, “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
The original message, which seemed to have been the start of a Trump complaint about media coverage, soon became a top trend on Twitter.
Some users sought clarification from dictionary company Merriam-Webster. They did not get a definition but did draw a response.
“Wakes up. Checks Twitter… Uh…. Lookups fo(r)… Regrets checking Twitter. Goes back to bed,” @MerriamWebster wrote after Trump’s first tweet ignited a slew of possible definitions and jokes, as well as defenses of the president.
“Covfefe” also made its way into the Urban Dictionary, a website that collates online word submissions.
White House representatives did not reply to a request for comment on the post on Trump’s personal @realDonaldTrump account.
Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken, in a CNN interview on Wednesday morning, joked: “A covfefe is a Yiddish term for ‘I got to go to bed now,'” dismissing the tweet as a late-night error.
Conservative commentator and radio show host Laura Ingraham tweeted in response to Trump’s guess-the-meaning post that, “It’s so bad–the collusion b/t (between) the Dems & the press, the establ(ishment) vs the ppl(people), that we needed a new word to describe it all. #Covfefe!”
Trump’s “covfefe” message drew renewed attention to his prolific Twitter habit.
The Republican president has said using Twitter helps him speak directly to…