Donald Trump hits out at 'negative press covfefe' in confusing late-night tweet

President's message appears to start out as another railing at hostile and biased media, but doesn't quite make it to form a sentence, or even a recognised word in English at the end

Niamh McIntyre
Wednesday 31 May 2017 11:23 BST
Donald Trump creates social media storm with 'covfefe' tweet

At around midnight on Tuesday night President Trump tweeted “despite the constant negative press covfefe”, sparking an intense debate about what he meant.

It seems likely the President meant to begin a tweet with “despite the constant negative press coverage” - however, three hours later, the tweet had not been deleted.

The tweet instantly went viral, and had been retweeted 79,000 times at the the time of writing - making it Mr Trump’s most popular tweet in months.

(Donald Trump (Donald Trump)

The term doesn’t appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, but Urban Dictionary suggests the following definition: “When you want to say "coverage" but your hands are too small to hit all the letters on your keyboard."

Others speculated about how the neologism should be properly pronounced. One twitter poll by Fusion, with over 20,000 participants, showed “cov-FEE-fee” with a narrow lead of 37%, with “cov-FEH-fay” just behind at 36%.

Within just three hours of the President’s tweet, a number of “covfefe” T-shirts were already available to purchase online. ​

A number of Twitter users made references to films, suggesting covfefe might be the final word Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johannson in “Lost in Translation”.

Others drew parallels with Orson Welles’ classic Citizen Kane - in which a reporter searches for the meaning of “rosebud”, the enigmatic dying word of a newspaper magnate.

One of the most popular tweets showed the President’s face superimposed onto Turkish internet sensation salt bae.

The White House has not yet commented on the covfefe controversy.

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