'Covfefe': Trump spokesman plays down odd tweet
White House press officer Sean Spicer has sought to defend an apparently garbled tweet by President Donald Trump which baffled and amused the internet.
In a tweet posted just after midnight Mr Trump wrote "despite the constant negative press covfefe".
The tweet stayed up all night, trending worldwide to much merriment.
Asked by a reporter if people should be concerned, Mr Spicer said, "No, the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."
Mr Trump, who presumably had meant to write "press coverage" and failed to finish his sentence, later deleted it and, acknowledging the jokes, wrote, "Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!"
That follow-up appeared at 06:09 (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday, more than six hours after the original message (posted at 00:06).
'Is nobody watching?'
"Do you think that people should be concerned that the president posted something of an incoherent tweet last night and that it then stayed up for hours?" a reporter asked Mr Spicer.
"Er, no," he replied.
"Why did it stay up so long? Is nobody watching this?" he was asked.
"No," Mr Spicer said before giving his cryptic explanation.
Others at the briefing simply asked, "What does 'covfefe' mean?" and "What is 'covfefe'?" without getting an answer.
You might also be interested in:
- US comic sorry for 'beheaded Trump' photo
- The internet reacts to Trump's first overseas trip
- White House communications chief quits
Mr Trump has continued tweeting from his personal account since becoming president in January, arguing that it helps him speak directly to Americans.
Aside from the frequently controversial content, the account is known for its spelling mistakes such as "unpresidented" for "unprecedented", and "honered" for "honored", as this Business Insider article recalls.
But few Trumpisms have spread like "covfefe"...
Beyond Twitter, rail operator Eurostar got in on the joke, suggesting passengers might enjoy a "covfefe" (and even a coffee too).
Hillary Clinton, who fought and lost the election against Mr Trump, joked in a speech to the annual Code Conference in California: "I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians."