Updated Oct 21, 2019

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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The 2 Republican senators to watch as Trump's impeachment looms

Photo: Axios on HBO

As President Trump's standing with Republican lawmakers grows more precarious, the two senators to watch — for totally different reasons — are Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and we talked to both of them last night on "Axios on HBO."

Why they matter: With Trump's impeachment by the House growing ever more likely, he has to keep his red wall of Republican Senate support so that, like President Clinton, he'll be acquitted rather than removed after a Senate trial.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Trump: Republicans must get tougher and fight impeachment threat

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a Cabinet meeting in the White House, Oct. 21. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump denounced Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) Monday as he said Republicans "have to get tougher and fight" because the Democrats are "trying to hurt" the GOP before the 2020 election, as the House impeachment inquiry looms.

"I think they're lousy politicians. But two things they have: They're vicious and they stick together. They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst. They don't have people like that. They stick together. You never see them break off."
— Trump speaking about Democrats

The big picture: Trump made the remarks during a lengthy Cabinet meeting, a day after "Axios on HBO" broadcast an interview with Romney during which he said Trump's appeals to China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden were "shocking" and a "mistake."

Go deeper: The 2 Republican senators to watch as Trump's impeachment looms

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Warren promises to release Medicare for All funding plan soon

Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at a town hall in Indianola, Iowa, Sunday she'll soon release cost details of her Medicare for All plan, per The Hill.

Why it matters: Warren's 2020 rivals including former Vice President Joe Biden have criticized her in recent weeks for dodging questions about whether her Medicare for All proposal would lead to an increase in taxes.

The big picture: The Massachusetts senator is a co-sponsor of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Act, but she's yet to reveal details of her strategy.

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Keep ReadingArrowOct 21, 2019