Half a sentence and a typo from the President of the United States are the most-talked about trends on the Internet.
Pretty much 2017 in a nutshell so far.
So here’s what we know happened.
President Donald Trump tweeted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” a clause with no context, at 12:06 a.m. ET Wednesday.
Trump’s tweet is the latest example of his ability to draw attention on social media — and keep the public guessing as to the meaning behind many of his remarks. It’s also a reminder of how different he is from past presidents and the traditional, carefully orchestrated pronouncements typically associated with the office.
The President’s Twitter feed was largely quiet during his recent trip abroad, but hours after returning home, he unleashed a social media blast that felt like a pent-up release of fury that had been simmering over the nine days of his debut foreign tour.
As usual, he took aim at the media and decried the ongoing Russia investigation.
The tweets represent Trump at his most authentic and defiant, lashing out when he feels he is under attack, and appeared to reflect a belief that only he, and not his staff, is qualified to speak in his own defense.
Wednesday’s tweet quickly drew a deluge of attention.
As of 4 a.m., the tweet garnered more than 108,000 retweets and more than 135,000 likes. To put that in context, the tweet in which he claimed — without proof — that he would have won the popular vote if it were not for voter fraud had more than 52,000 retweets and more than 160,000 likes at the time of writing this article.
Some of his more recent tweets got in the lower tens of thousands of retweets.
The tweet was finally deleted about 5:50 a.m. ET Wednesday.
At 6:09 a.m., Trump tweeted again: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
It seemed like the President was going to complain about the press — something he’s wont to do — but it wasn’t part of a Twitter rant. It was his first tweet in 20 hours (the last one was a retweet of a Fox News article saying Jared Kushner did not suggest opening Russian communications channel, citing an anonymous source.)
Though covfefe likely was a typo when the President meant to type coverage, he woke up to a lot of Twitter sass.
— Jackson Dame (@jacksondame) May 31, 2017
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 31, 2017
Roads are still slick from last night's rain. Please use your wipers and drive with covfefe
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) May 31, 2017
— Talya Cooper (@talicoop) May 31, 2017
what makes me saddest is that I know I'll never write anything funnier than #covfefe
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 31, 2017
TV host Billy Eichner wasn’t having it.
This can't be real. These people cannot be real. Please let it end. LET IT END!!!! https://t.co/UlERV8Svuz
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) May 31, 2017
One of the most popular theories is that someone tried to grab Trump’s phone mid-tweet, and it was accidentally sent.
I like to imagine that "covfefe" is the exact moment someone tackled Trump and wrestled the phone out of his hand. https://t.co/96MAwttvdL
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) May 31, 2017
No word from Merriam-Webster on whether they’ll add it to the dictionary next year. They’ve gone back to bed.
📈 Lookups fo…
Regrets checking Twitter.
Goes back to bed.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 31, 2017