It's the story that started Wednesday's news cycle, and Sean Spicer added some fuel to the "covfefe" fire in the late afternoon. When asked during Wednesday's press briefing whether "people should be concerned that the president posted a somewhat incoherent tweet last night, and then it stayed up for hours," Spicer replied no. USA Today reports the reporter pressed: "Why did it stay up so long after? Is no one watching this?" And then Spicer said this: "No, I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant." The Hill calls Spicer's answer "cryptic"; CNET jokes that it's left wondering whether covfefe is "some sort of secret code that might mean: 'Where's my KFC?' or 'Attack North Korea.'"
At CNN, Chris Cillizza is incredulous or, as he puts it, "WAIT. WHAT?????????" In Cillizza's view, the president made a typo, and Spicer knew a question about it was coming. It would have been easy enough to brush it off, with Cillizza suggesting something like, "He meant to type 'coverage.' Raise your hand if you've never made a typo on Twitter." That might have garnered laughter. Instead, Spicer's reply ratcheted things up. "Something that should be totally simple—"it was a typo, duh"—turned into a bizarre answer that will keep the story in the news longer than it needs to be." (Hillary Clinton weighed in on "covfefe," too.)