Mitt Romney, the Utah senator, former Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, is also apparently the man behind a Twitter account using the moniker "Pierre Delecto."
Mr. Romney on Sunday acknowledged to McKay Coppins a writer on the Atlantic, that he was responsible for the account on social media, which he uses to postpone political discourse and sometimes defend himself. It is unclear what, if anything, Pierre Delecto is a reference to.
First, on Sunday, the Atlantic published a profile of Mr. Romney, one of the few prominent Republican legislators to criticize the president. Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his democratic rivals. These efforts form the basis for an investigation of domestic violence.
Mr. Trump responded in response this month, calling the senator on Twitter a "pompous" ass "that has been fighting me from the beginning." In a tweet, the president used the hashtag "#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY."
In the Atlantic profile, Mr. Romney admitted that he had what he called a "lurker account" – essentially a profile under a different name that he secretly operated to oversee the political conversation. But he declined to reveal the name associated with the account.
Access aroused curiosity, especially the slate of the online news magazine.
Slate & # 39; s Ashley Feinberg found that Pierre Delecto's first follower was Mr. Romney's eldest son, Tagg. The account was created in 2011, shortly after Romney announced his intention to step down as president. The account also followed all of Romney's children found on Twitter and several former advisers, according to Slate.
The account also published several narrative responses to Romney-related tweets, which were captured by screenshot before the account was made private on Sunday night.
In a May tweet, Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger at The Washington Post, said that Romney's strategy for Mr. Trump was "non-confrontation that backed down on spinelessness."
"Jennifer, you have to breathe," Pierre Delecto replied, "Maybe you can then acknowledge the people who agree with you to a great extent, though not by any means."
The Slate article got a lot on social media to assume that if Pierre Delecto was in fact Mr. Romney, he would have attached one of the most extraordinary pseudonymous social media accounts of a public official ever (best former FBI Director James B. Comey's once monikered by Reinhold Niebuhr).
After Skiffer published his article, Coppins circled back with Mr. Romney asking if he really was "Pierre Delecto."
"Just talked to @MittRomney on the phone and asked him about Pierre Delecto," Coppins said in a tweet. "His only response:" C & # 39; est moi. "& # 39;
A spokeswoman for Mr. Romney did not immediately answer questions about the account on Sunday night. But in an email, the spokeswoman sent a link to the tweet from Mr. Coppins where he described Romney's recognition.
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.