Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday confirmed the identity of a secret social media account that he used to actively participate on Twitter under the guise of anonymity.
The Atlantic's McKay Coppins published a story about Romney on Sunday revealing, among other things, that Romney uses a burner Twitter account. While Romney did not provide Coppins with the account information, he relayed enough detail for the internet to find the account.
Later Sunday afternoon, Slate writer Ashley Feinberg published a story with information about an account she believed was Romney's burner identity: Pierre Delecto, with a username of "@qaws9876."
Romney confirmed late Sunday that he was, in fact, Mr. Delecto. When Coppins called the senator to ask if he operated the account, Romney replied, "C'est moi," a French phrase meaning "that is me" or "it is me."
By late Sunday, Romney "locked" the account, meaning people could no longer see who he followed or what he had tweeted.
However, before Romney locked the account, Feinberg published the exact details of who Romney interacted with and what he tweeted, revealing a lot about the senator's current state-of-mind in a political world dominated by President Donald Trump.
Why did Romney use a secret account?
While Romney did not reveal his exact intentions, public figures and celebrities often use secret social media accounts to participate in social community without their every move becoming a story. It's very common, in fact, for people of Romney's stature to operate so-called "burner accounts."
And from Pierre Delecto's activity, it is clear why Romney wanted to keep his secret Twitter activity in the shadows.
Romney, who has becoming increasingly critical of the president, used the account to "like" tweets critical of the president, sometimes even voicing direct criticism of Trump, as well as to defend himself (anonymously, of course), and rebuke the media.
Romney created the account in July 2011, shortly after he began his campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination.