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Monday, 10 December 2018

'Smocking Gun': Trump's latest typo prompts derision and delight

'Smocking Gun': Trump's latest typo prompts derision and delight

Last year he gave us “covfefe”. This year – and just in time for Christmas –Donald Trump has bestowed upon the English language the phrase: “Smocking Gun”.

“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun… No Collusion,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In the hours after the president’s tweet, “Smocking Gun” began trending on Twitter. Searches for the term “smocking gun” surged, according to Google Trends, as did searches for “smocking” – a type of embroidery made of many small folds.

It was not the mere typo that tickled readers, but also the capitalisation of “Smocking” and “Gun”, and the repetition of the expression.​

Many people tweeted suggestions for what a “Smocking Gun” might be.

The tweet was reminiscent of Trump’s “covfefe” moment last May, when he tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”, which was followed by silence and no explanation. Trump later followed up with a tweet saying: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!”

This latest social media blunder came as Trump has been furiously defending himself on Twitter over the past few days amid mounting pressure on several fronts.

On Friday, federal prosecutors said in court filings that Trump directed his one-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, to commit two felonies, by directing him to make payments to two women who said they had sex with Trump in an effort to influence the 2016 election by buying their silence.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the president, also revealed that during the 2016 election campaign one of Trump’s closest advisers met with a Russian who was offering help from Moscow and a meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

But Trump has alleged that the revelations do not implicate him, last week saying the news: “totally clears the President!”

Defenders of the president struggled to brush off the “Smocking Gun” tweet as anything more than a simple typo. One of the more creative explanations came from Bill Mitchell, the host of a YouTube channel “dedicated to supporting the presidency of Donald J Trump”.

Mitchell said the use of “Smocking” had been deliberate “because he is MOCKING the Democrats for having no smoking gun”, wrote Mitchell.

“Why would Trump use ‘Smocking Gun’, capitalized as to draw even more attention to it?” he wrote as justification of his theory.

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