Sean Spicer on Trump's 'covfefe' tweet: 'The President and a small group know exactly what he meant'

Spicer has refused to say that 'covfefe' was a typo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Spicer has refused to say that 'covfefe' was a typo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is refusing to admit that a late-night typo tweeted by his boss was anything but a simple mistake.

During his daily press briefing, Mr Spicer cryptically told reporters that “the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant” when he tweeted the word “covfefe” at 12:06 a.m.

Mr Trump tweeted “despite the negative press covfefe” and left the tweet on his account for hours before he deleted it. The odd tweet gained steam overnight on Twitter, with rampant speculation about what the word could have meant from Twitter jokesters and trolls alike. Twitter itself even made it a moment so that users could peruse the conversation easier.

If Mr Spicer was joking, his tone did not make that apparent - with the press briefing being off camera.

When Mr Trump, presumably, woke up in the morning and saw the hubbub he tweeted out a rare self-deprecating joke.

“Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!” he wrote then. He later tweeted the original message that started the storm of jokes.

The tweet drew plenty of speculation and jokes. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel joined in the fun saying, “what makes me saddest is that I know I’ll never write anything funnier than #covfefe,” on Twitter. Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 election against Mr Trump, joked during a conference in California that she “thought it was a hidden message to the Russians,” and that her audience didn’t “have a high enough classification to know what ‘covfefe’ means.”

It’s not hard to take a serious guess as to what Mr Trump likely meant to write in that now infamous tweet. The president frequently derides the news media for reporting stories that aren’t flattering to the administration, including ongoing investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russian officials. Mr Trump also likes to praise the job he is doing on Twitter. Putting those two together, a good guess may be that he was trying to say he is moving forward with important achievements “despite the negative press coverage.”