Mitt Romney is a hardcore lurker.
Since July 2011, one month after the Republican senator of Utah announced his presidential run, Romney’s been managing a second secret Twitter account.
Per Slate’s Ashley Feinberg, who uncovered the account after Romney dropped a few hints in an interview with the Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, Romney’s Twitter alter ego is named “Pierre Delecto,” and has the handle, @qaws9876.
On Sunday night, after Feinberg revealed her suspicions about the account in an article, Coppins spoke to Romney on the phone and the senator confirmed the account is his. “C’est moi,” Romney said.
Though Romney initially refused to provide any easily identifiable account details in the interview with Coppins, he did note that he follows several journalists, late-night comedians, and athletes, and that he does not follow Donald Trump. That information, in addition to searching the followers of Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, helped Feinberg weed out the real fake Romney account.
Romney’s alias, Pierre Delecto, currently follows 702 accounts — including the late John McCain, Rupert Murdoch, Bill Kristol, Matt Schapp, and Larry Kudlow — and has only ever tweeted 10 times. (His tweets are always a reply to someone else’s tweet.)
Shortly after Feinberg’s article published, Romney made his once-public secret account private, but not before Slate took screenshots of his various tweets to reporters, Fox News, and Trump.
News of Romney’s burner account reminded many people of former FBI Director James Comey’s secret Twitter account, which Feinberg also uncovered around two years ago.
Elevator pitch: A heist film where the crooks don the names Pierre Delecto, Carlos Danger, John Baron, Reinhold Niebuhr.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) October 20, 2019
“He tweets so much,” Romney said about Donald Trump during his interview with Coppins. He then compared Trump to one of his young nieces who frequently posts on Instagram. “I love her, but it’s like, Ah, it’s too much.”
Sick burn, Romney. Your Pierre really came out in that response.