Mitt Romney admitted in an interview with The Atlantic that he has a secret Twitter account, and the Republican senator from Utah apparently gave away too many details. Less than 12 hours after The Atlantic piece was published, his fake identity was discovered by Slate journalist Ashley Feinberg, and Romney then confirmed secret social media account is under the name “Pierre Delecto.”
The topic originally came up while discussing the time Donald Trump started the hashtag #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY on Twitter. Romney said, “That’s kind of what he does,” and then went on to explain that he uses a secret Twitter account. “What do they call me, a lurker?”
Romney said that he uses a secret identity to keep tabs on the political conversation. “I won’t give you the name of it, but “I’m following 668 people.” The 72-year-old also mentioned that he follows numerous journalists, athletes, and late-night comedians, including, “What’s his name, the big redhead from Boston?”
Romney, however, does not secretly follow Trump. “He tweets so much,” Romney said, and compared the President’s constant tweeting to one of his nieces, who tends to overshare on Instagram. “I love her, but it’s like, Ah, it’s too much.”
The crumbs of information Mitt gave to The Atlantic of his secret Twitter account was enough for Slate journalist Ashley Feinberg to find “Pierre Delecto,” an account which was created on Twitter in July 2011. Pierre Delecto has no profile photo, but he follows hundreds of news reporters, Tom Brady, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and of course, “the big redhead” – Conan O’Brien.
Feinberg, then working for Gizmodo, also uncovered the secret Twitter account used by former FBI director James Comey, in 2017. After Comey confirmed the account, using the name Reinhold Niebuhr, was his, he jokingly offered Feinberg a job at the agency he once ran. He tweeted out a meme of Will Ferrell’s Anchorman character with the quote, “Actually I am not even mad, that’s amazing,” and a link to fbijobs.gov.
Pierre Delecto’s very first follow on the social media site was Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, followed by Glen Johnson, the political editor for Boston.com, and Mark DeMoss, who once described by the Salt Lake Tribune in 2012 as “an unpaid adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign for the past five years, and Eric Fehnstrom, who’s bio on Twitter reads “Former @MittRomney adviser.”
When Asked About Pierre Delecto, Romney Said ‘ C’est Moi’
While Pierre Delecto started trending online, the account in question was quickly made private. Journalist McKay Coppins, who did the original interview with Romney reached out to Romney to confirm if the account was him or not. “C’est moi” he said, which means “It’s me,” in French.
It makes sense Romney used a French sounding name as his secret Twitter account. He studied French for three years while studying at the elite Cranbrook school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and spent a little over two years living in France after his freshman year at Stanford. In 1966, when Romney was 19, he left college in California to travel overseas as a Mormon missionary. He traveled through Paris, Bordeaux, and Le Havre, in an attempt to recruit and convert French people to Mormonism.
Romney told The New York Times in 2017 of his time in France, “It was growing up fast,” and that his experiences “gave me a great appreciation of the value of liberty.” Romney’s son Tagg added, “He talks about [his years in France] all the time,” because it “helped him become who he is now.”