Meet Pierre Delecto
October 21, 2019

The Atlantic published a profile of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday in which reporter McKay Coppins explained that "in the nine years I've been covering Romney, I've never seen him quite so liberated." At Slate, Ashley Feinberg appeared generally underwhelmed by Romney's apparent "effort to set himself up as the noble Republican foil to an out-of-control president," but she did find one interesting bit of news in the profile: "About midway through, the usually guarded senator revealed that, just like fellow lone-voice-of reason-haver James Comey, he was the owner of a secret Twitter account."

Romney told Coppins that he wasn't bothered by President Trump's Twitter attacks on him, explaining that he uses a secret Twitter account as "a lurker" to keep tabs on the political conversation. "I won't give you the name of it," Romney told Coppins, but he dropped enough clues — including that he follows Conan O'Brien but not Trump, because "he tweets so much," like his niece on Instagram: "I love her, but it's like, Ah, it's too much" — that Feinberg pretty quickly introduced the world to Pierre Delecto, @qaws9876.

Coppins called Romney after Slate published Feinberg's article. "C'est moi," Romney confirmed. Romney then took his secret account private, but Feinberg posted screenshots of some of Pierre's handful of tweets — usually, pro-Romney replies to other tweets — and intriguing catalog of likes, including several tweets from noted Trump critic George Conway and another tweet appearing to support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. There is one mystery Feinberg couldn't uncover, though: Pierre Delecto?

"'Pierre' certainly does seem like a name a Mitt Romney-type looking for an alias might choose, though the 'Delecto' is less clear," Feinberg wrote. Maybe it has something to do with his time as Mormon missionary in France. Read Coppins' profile of Romney at The Atlantic and Feinberg's unmaking of @qaws9876 at Slate. Peter Weber

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