Trump odd ‘cov­fefe’ tweet baf­fles na­tion, sparks meme flood.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY S.A. MILLER AND SALLY PER­SONS

Pres­i­dent Trump fi­nally found a way to dis­tract the Wash­ing­ton press corps — and much of the world — from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion: “Cov­fefe.”

But by the end of the day, some­how the White House man­aged to bring it back around to Rus­sia.

The gar­bled word that Mr. Trump tossed into the Twit­ter­verse late at night went viral Wed­nes­day and the White House couldn’t help but keep it go­ing.

“De­spite the con­stant neg­a­tive press cov­fefe,” Mr. Trump tweeted around mid­night.

The tweet stayed up for about five hours, be­com­ing a pop­u­lar meme be­fore it was deleted.

Mr. Trump could have called it a typo and moved on. But that’s not his style. He ap­peared to rel­ish the keen in­ter­est on Twit­ter about cov­fefe, even if it was mock­ing.

“Who can fig­ure out the true mean­ing of ‘cov­fefe’ ??? En­joy!” the pres­i­dent tweeted at about 6 a.m.

Most fig­ured he meant to type “cov­er­age” but thumbed a few wrong let­ters on his cell­phone.

White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer kept in­ter­est alive by im­ply­ing some mys­tery be­hind the tweet.

Asked by re­porters whether Amer­i­cans should be con­cerned that the pres­i­dent is tweet­ing in­co­her­ently in the mid­dle of the night, Mr. Spicer replied: “No.”

But he didn’t let it end there. “The pres­i­dent and a small group of peo­ple know ex­actly what he meant,” he said, spark­ing a bar­rage of ques­tions from the crowd in the White House brief­ing room.

What does it mean?

Who’s the small group?

Mr. Spicer didn’t an­swer — but Mr. Trump’s po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents were ea­ger to of­fer ex­pla­na­tions.

“I thought it was a hid­den mes­sage to the Rus­sians,” Hil­lary Clin­ton said at the Code Con­fer­ence in Cal­i­for­nia, where she of­fered a slew of ex­cuses for her loss to Mr. Trump in the pres­i­den­tial race.

She also had a re­sponse to Mr. Spicer’s cryptic com­ment.

“The small group clas­si­fi­ca­tion,” she said jok­ingly. “You don’t have enough clas­si­fi­ca­tion to know what cov­fefe means.”

Daniel Swing­ley, a psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor in the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s Lin­guis­tics Depart­ment, said it looked like a typo to him.

“I think it is very un­likely to be a se­cret mes­sage. It seems much more likely to be a not-se­cret, fa­mil­iar mes­sage, whose mean­ing is ei­ther ‘I speak with­out think­ing’, or ‘I’m try­ing to dis­tract you,’ said the pro­fes­sor.

He said the tweet and the hub­bub sur­round­ing it did, at least, demon­strate two thing.

“One, play­ing right into a stereo­type makes all the stereo­typers as happy as clams at high tide,” he said. “Two, Mr. Spicer doesn’t ap­pear to have good in­tu­itions about which things to dis­miss, and which things to im­ply are weird and mys­te­ri­ous. In this case, he takes some­thing of no par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance, and he some­how con­structs some­thing akin to a con­spir­acy the­ory out of it.”

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