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Is Mitt Romney also Pierre Delecto? Social media goes wild with speculation

Speculation grew on Twitter Sunday about the identity of Mitt Romney’s fake Twitter account

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FILE - Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, attends the HELP Hearing: Implementing the 21st Century Cures Act on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 26, 2019.

Cheryl Diaz Meyer, for the Deseret News

Mitt Romney has a fake Twitter account, and now we know the identity of it.

On Sunday, The Atlantic published a report from McKay Coppins about Romney and how he’s become an outspoken dissident in the Republican Party, often criticizing President Donald Trump. His criticisms come as an impeachment inquiry over the Ukraine scandal has continued to build.

In Coppins’ article, Romney confesses that he has a burner Twitter account, which he uses to read political news and keep track of politicians and more through Twitter.

He admitted as much after Coppins asked him about Trump’s #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY hashtag:

He explained that he uses a secret Twitter account—What do they call me, a lurker?—to keep tabs on the political conversation. I won’t give you the name of it, he said, but I’m following 668 people. Swiping at his tablet, he recited some of the accounts he follows, including journalists, late-night comedians (What’s his name, the big redhead from Boston?), and athletes. Trump was not among them. He tweets so much, Romney said, comparing the president to one of his nieces who overshares on Instagram. I love her, but it’s like, Ah, it’s too much.

In the aftermath of this reveal, Slate’s Ashley Feinberg went to work, researching Romney’s current Twitter account, his family members’ Twitter accounts and other associated profiles. Here’s a breakdown of her process.

Not all of his five sons have public Twitter accounts, and some of them, like the dreaded Tagg, have too many followers to possibly dig through. Romney’s oldest grandchild, Allie Romney Critchlow, however, has just 481 followers, making digging through them an annoying-but-not-impossible feat. As I scrolled, while focusing on the ones that appeared to make an effort to conceal their real identities, one in particular caught my eye.

Reader, meet Twitter user @qaws9876, otherwise known as Pierre Delecto.

At first, Delecto’s account only had about 702 followers. That number ballooned into the 1,100 range before it was made into a private account.

Twitter speculation erupted, with many wondering if Pierre Delecto would be Romney’s chosen name. Some social media users pointed to “Pierre” being a French name. Romney served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France.

Something of a confirmation came later Sunday night when Coppins, The Atlantic writer, called Romney and asked him about it. Romney’s response: “C’est moi.”

“C’est moi,” in French, means, “It’s me.”

Social media had some fun with the Pierre Delecto news. The name was among the dozens of trending terms on Twitter Sunday. Here are some of the best tweets.