The internet received quite a boon yesterday from a rather unlikely source: Donald Trump, who was either nodding off or so incensed by something that he trailed off mid-tweet/typo.
Despite appearing to be a nonsensical word, covfefe sparked the imagination of everyone working the late shift on Twitter, who quickly set about trying to interpret just what Trump meant by that non sequitur. Could it have been something as obvious as a misspelling of the word “coverage”? After all, the F, G, and R keys are all pretty close to each other on a phone’s keyboard (we all know he sent that out from his phone, most likely the one he wants to use to receive calls from heads of state). How to explain that extraneous E, then? But according to most of these amateur cryptologists, it was nothing so prosaic; they preferred to suggest it was some kind of coded reference. And they’ve just gotten unwitting support from one of the Trump administration’s most addled representatives: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
The real-life Mike McLintock held his first press briefing in two weeks today, kicking things off on a high note by regaling reporters with talk of Trump’s trip abroad. When they got to the dreaded Q&A portion, Spicer was asked about the investigation into Jared Kushner’s Russia ties, and he immediately became flustered, responding to one query with “You’re asking if he approves of an action that is not a confirmed action.”
Things got decidedly more cryptic when Spicer was inevitably asked what the hell “covfefe” means. According to the press secretary—who is, at this moment, still the head mouthpiece—everyone who needs to know already knows what it means. “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer told the room full of journalists. This halfhearted explanation drew laughter from the press members, Raw Story reports, which is the only thing about any of this that’s made sense so far.