Supporters and detractors alike saw First Lady Michelle Obama's tweet commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a veiled encouragement for people to boycott President-elect Trump's inaugural.
Thinking of Dr. King and great leaders like @repjohnlewis who carry on his legacy. May their example be our call to action. -mo— First Lady- Archived (@First Lady- Archived)1484584218.0
The tweet ended with the initials of the first lady, signifying that she herself composed the tweet.
While she is attending the inaugural on January 20th, many took this message as an encouragement for more to boycott the ceremony, since she says Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) should be an example and a call to action.
Many on social media commented on the apparent insult:
Subtweeting those who want to boycott the Inaugural there https://t.co/JoxYmgUWXF— Jack Matthews (@Jack Matthews)1484584266.0
Holy wow, this subtweet. https://t.co/MTR4Yaw0wo— Eric Geller (@Eric Geller)1484609551.0
A "subtweet" is Twitter parlance for a tweet that is a pointed, passive aggressive message to a person without naming them directly.
A call to action for right now - following @repjohnlewis's example - do not attend or watch DT's inauguration.… https://t.co/LQ4p5OQeiI— Eileen Soffer (@Eileen Soffer)1484604861.0
Lewis is embroiled in a feud with Trump on Twitter and elsewhere in public after saying Russian meddling had rendered his presidency illegitimate. More than 30 other members of Congress have vowed to follow his example and skip the inaugural.
Just last month, the first lady said that she and President Obama promised to help the new president succeed in office. Prior to that, she appeared to make a veiled jab at Trump in saying times of crisis demanded a "grown-up," and in an interview with Oprah Winfrey she said that Trump's electoral victory meant that there was a hopelessness in the country.