Way back on May 31, 2017, President Trump sent the social media world into a tizzy when he posted a tweet with what appeared to be a big-time typographical error.
“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” Trump wrote on Twitter, a post he later deleted. A few hours later, as Twitterers puzzled over his tweet, Trump stoked the flames, writing: “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’???”
The post quickly went viral, topping 75,000 likes and drawing more than 60,000 retweets. Memes flew around the internet as everyone speculated about the word’s meaning.
Amid all the hubbub, some horse breeders named a thoroughbred “Covfefe.” On Saturday, the horse won the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.
“Jamie Roth, who runs the LNJ Foxwoods stable, decided to harness all the attention on the strange word to name the horse she co-owns,” the New York Post wrote.
“We gave the name to her because we thought she was special and we thought the name was kind of funny,” Roth told USA Today.
Covfefe even has her own Twitter account titled “RealCovfefeRacehorse.
“The Greatest #CovfefeHunt In American History!” the account tweeted Thursday, poking fun at Trump’s oft-repeated “witch hunt” label for the impeachment inquiry.
“Many people watched my race live in the #BreedersCup Filly & Mare Sprint while it was being run. I never heard any complaints. The reason is that it was totally appropriate, I say perfect. #Covfefe supporters have never been more unified, and my #CuteNose Rating is now 110%!” they also wrote on Twitter.
Many people watched my race live in the #BreedersCup Filly & Mare Sprint while it was being run. I never heard any complaints. The reason is that it was totally appropriate, I say perfect. #Covfefe supporters have never been more unified, and my #CuteNose Rating is now 110%!
— RealCovfefeRacehorse (@CovfefeHorse) November 3, 2019
So Trump immediately jumped into the mix. He retweeted a post that said: “A horse named ‘Covfefe’ won a Breeder’s Cup event at Santa Anita today. Named after President Trump’s famous mistweet, she has now won six of her first eight races.”
Trump wrote his own message atop the retweet.
“Great! But how do you know it was a ‘mistweet?’ May be something with deep meaning!” Trump wrote.
Great! But how do you know it was a “mistweet?” May be something with deep meaning! https://t.co/00EXMCgQLp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
Shortly after Trump posted the original “covfefe” tweet, then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wouldn’t acknowledge that “covfefe” was a typo. “The president and a small group of people know exactly” what the non-word means, he claimed.
But after Trump’s most recent post, “#covfefe” rose back to the top of the trending section.
“How far back did we set our clocks on Sunday that is trending again? What year is this,” wrote one Twitterer.
“Looks like today is going to be a great day #Covfefe,” wrote another.
— Nick McCurdy (@nickemccurdy) November 4, 2019
After the last time Trump posted “covfefe,” the inside-the-Beltway media went crazy, especially over Spicer’s explanation.
“[I]t was a telling window into this president’s isolation and his inability or unwillingness to take direction or even advice from any of his staff,” Chris Cillizza wrote on CNN.
Spicer’s odd response to an obvious — and easily dismissed — question about it makes things even stranger. He obviously knew the question was coming. “Covfefe” was all the talk of cable news all morning.So, what if rather than the answer he gave, Spicer said something like: “The president made a typo. He meant to type ‘coverage.’ Raise your hand if you’ve never made a typo on Twitter.” The reporters would have laughed. The situation would have been defused. It would have dismissed as a weird episode, soon forgotten. But, that’s not what Sean said.In fact, in a very serious tone — I couldn’t see his face because the White House had announced today’s press briefing would be off camera — Spicer seemed to suggest the tweet was some sort of purposeful inside joke. “A small group of people know exactly what he meant,” raises WAY more questions than answers about what should be a total nothing-burger. It suggests that Trump’s typo was intentional and that the people who needed to know what he meant did.