Pierre Delecto, also known as Mitt Romney, speaking to reporters in May 2019Picture copyright
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Pierre Delecto, in any other case referred to as Mitt Romney, is a Republican senator for Utah

US Republican Senator Mitt Romney has revealed he makes use of a secret Twitter account beneath the identify Pierre Delecto.

In an interview with The Atlantic journal on Sunday, the previous presidential candidate admitted he had a “lurker” Twitter deal with to observe the US political dialog anonymously.

Whereas he didn’t reveal its identify, US information website Slate posted an article speculating it could possibly be Pierre Delecto, @qaws9876.

Requested to verify by a journalist, Mr Romney mentioned, “C’est moi” (“It is me”).

The Utah senator and former governor of Massachusetts is an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican. It’s unknown why he selected the account identify, Pierre Delecto.

How was his secret uncovered?

Information first broke of the key Twitter account in a profile piece written by McKay Coppins in The Atlantic.

Coppins requested the senator about President Trump’s prolific tweeting – together with assaults on Mr Romney himself – and prompted the revelation that he “makes use of a secret Twitter account – ‘What do they name me, a lurker?’ – to maintain tabs on the political dialog”.

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Media captionTrump reacts to Romney’s assault: “I want Mitt could possibly be extra of a crew participant”

The senator didn’t give away the identify, however listed a few of the roughly 700 accounts he follows – together with journalists, athletes and comedians.

Mr Trump was not amongst them. Mr Romney mentioned within the interview the president “tweets a lot”, evaluating him to his niece on Instagram. “I like her, nevertheless it’s like, Ah, it is an excessive amount of.”

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Who’s Pierre Delecto?

All this was not sufficient for Slate journalist Ashley Feinberg, who launched an investigation into what doable account the senator could possibly be utilizing.

Scouring Mr Romney’s grandchildren’s Twitter accounts revealed Twitter person @qaws9876, referred to as Pierre Delecto. The account has since been made non-public.

It first opened on the social media website in July 2011, one month after Mr Romney introduced plans to run for the presidency. Pierre Delecto follows plenty of Mr Romney’s relations and former aides.

The account has solely tweeted a handful of instances, all in reply to different tweets.

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@qaws9876

Coppins, who wrote the Atlantic piece, then referred to as Mr Romney to see if the hypothesis was correct.

Requested if he was certainly Pierre Delecto, Mr Romney gave his temporary reply in French. The senator had learnt the language whereas doing missionary work in France as a younger man.

Who’s Mitt Romney?

Mr Romney ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2012, shedding to incumbent Barack Obama.

Since January 2019, he has served because the junior US senator from Utah.

He has publicly questioned Donald Trump’s health for workplace, writing within the Washington Submit that the president had not “risen to the mantle” of his workplace.

Mr Trump has attacked the senator a number of instances, most not too long ago calling for his impeachment on Twitter.

Skip Twitter submit by @realDonaldTrump

I’m listening to that the Nice Folks of Utah are contemplating their vote for his or her Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a giant mistake. I agree! He’s a idiot who’s taking part in proper into the palms of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY

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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2019

Finish of Twitter submit by @realDonaldTrump

Who else has used pretend names?

Mr Romney is just not the one US politician to make use of a pseudonym:

Former FBI Director James Comey – who was sacked by President Trump in Could 2017 – tweeted beneath the identify of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Reporter Ashley Feinberg once more was behind hypothesis it was him earlier than he confirmed his use of the account in October 2017
Ex-New York congressman Anthony Weiner reportedly used the alias “Carlos Hazard” when he despatched specific images to a younger lady. Weiner was not too long ago launched from jail after serving a 15-month sentence for sending specific messages to a minorPresident Trump has allegedly used plenty of pretend names all through his profession, amongst them John Barron and John Miller. The Washington Submit reported in 2016 concerning the allegations, which Mr Trump has repeatedly denied