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Romney admits to using shadow Twitter account

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that he uses a "secret Twitter account," which he later confirmed is named "Pierre Delecto" after Slate's Ashley Feinberg published a story connecting details from the anonymous account back to Romney.

The exchange:

ALLEN: There's some question whether you follow President Trump. Your official account follows President Trump.
ROMNEY: I have two official accounts — one is a Senate account and the other is the Mitt Romney account and those accounts are not ones I look at regularly. I do follow them, but I have an anonymous account, which is the one that I look at two or three times a day.
ALLEN: Oh, so you're a lurker?
ROMNEY: Is that what they're called? I'm embarrassed to be called a lurker. I've been called a lot of things, but being called a lurker is a new low.

Why it matters: As Delecto, Romney liked tweets critical of President Trump, who has attacked Romney on Twitter in the past. The senator also occasionally used the account to defend himself against detractors.

Background: The Atlantic's McKay Coppins published a profile on Romney on Sunday in which the senator revealed that he used a secret account to keep tabs on political conversations. After Feinberg tracked the account down, Romney confirmed to Coppins' that the Delecto account belonged to him.

  • Feinberg noted that the Pierre Delecto account was created in 2011, when Romney first announced his presidential candidacy, and that it first followed Taggart Romney, the senator's oldest son.
  • Pierre Delecto also follows Twitter user @Darlin1Patience, a private account that follows members of the Romney family, like Craig Romney and eldest Romney grandchild Allie Romney.
  • The account is now private.

Of note: In the interview with "Axios on HBO," Romney said he learned of Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria on Twitter "like most folks."

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