Mitt Romney has been outed.
Well, sort of.
The Utah Republican senator had for years held onto a secret Twitter account he rarely used until recently. After mentioning he had one, a little online sleuthing by a journalist pointed to an account with few followers and few tweets but one that clearly had the markings of one Mitt Romney.
Who is Pierre Delecto?
It's Sen. Mitt Romney. Really.
The senator told The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins that he had a secret Twitter account with enough details that Slate’s Ashley Feinberg was able to suss it out by looking at social media of his kids and grandkids. Romney later confirmed the account was his.
Romney, Slate reported, created the account in 2011 but only recently started using it to, well, defend himself or offer occasional commentary on the state of politics. Romney, posing as Pierre, pointed out to a reporter that Romney was among Republicans sticking up for Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., amid attacks by President Donald Trump.
When broadcaster Soledad O'Brien suggested Romney had an “utter lack of a moral compass,” Pierre had his back.
“Only Republican to hit Trump on Mueller report, only one to hit Trump on character time and again, so Soledad, you think he's the one without a moral compass?” Romney tweeted as Pierre.
In all, Pierre has only tweeted 10 times, according to Slate, and all of them were replies to other people.
What is Pierre Delecto like?
As Romney joked to The Atlantic, he set up the account to be a “lurker,” and he really is.
He follows fellow members of Congress, former advisers and even late-night hosts Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and NFL star Tom Brady. After Romney confirmed the account was his, he locked it, meaning only those he allows can see his tweets.
And, of course, it begs the question of where the name came from. Romney’s office didn’t offer any clues but one could surmise it came from Romney’s religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to France as a young adult. Or he could have just pulled it out of a hat, er, beret. At least it wasn’t Carlos Danger, an alias once used by disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Why the alter ego?
Romney’s official Twitter account, @MittRomney, has 2 million followers and his Senate account, @SenatorRomney, has 49,300. That one is used to post about the senator’s actions or his thoughts on the politics du jour. The secret account allowed Romney to just be himself without anyone — until now — realizing it was him. He could also follow family and friends to see their tweets without all the noise of the rest of the Twitter world.
Can I see his tweets?
Some reporters were able to grab screenshots of Romney’s unofficial tweets before he locked the account, but if you want to see what Pierre is up to now, he’s going to have to let you in. It’s probably not going to happen unless your last name also happens to be Romney.
Will Pierre Delecto stick around?
Romney’s office didn’t respond to questions about the Twitter account, so it’s unclear if the senator will continue to tweet from his alternative world. But if the Utah senator were truly wanting to lurk in the Twitter-verse, he can still do so without any of us knowing what’s he’s up to.
Of course, Pierre Delecto already has a presence on other social media. A Facebook page popped up Monday with a picture of Romney, with a twisty mustache and beret, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Romney isn’t likely behind this account, but, hey, you never know.