For once, the president might actually be outshone for most talked-about Twitter account. Former FBI Director James Comey's Twitter account is back and people are having a lot of feelings about it. The obscure account, which was suspected of being Comey's, hadn't been posted from since March, but ended a 6-month hiatus with a string of cryptic tweets starting on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Gizmodo did the exhaustive task of chasing down Comey's virtual footprint back in late March. There was impressive evidence stacked in favor of it being the former FBI director's, loaded as it was with liked tweets relating to the agency's investigation, Comey's firing, and the Trump administration. The account followed mostly news outlets and high-profile reporters. Back then, the account's handle was listed as @ProjectExile7, which likely alluded the the name of a project Comey had worked on, per Gizmodo.
But until now, it was all speculation. On Monday, Oct. 23, Benjamin Wittes, a close friend of Comey's, confirmed the account was his, tweeting,
Ok, in light of this latest tweet, I will confirm that @FormerBu is, in fact, James Comey himself.
Comey himself has also owned up to the account as his, NPR reports.
Comey's account, @FormerBu, is now followed by over 51,000 users — a figure that was climbing by the thousands on Monday — but is following just a handful of people. Listed under the name Reinhold Nieburh, a noted theologian, his account includes neither a banner nor a profile photo, and nothing in the about section.
There are only six tweets from Comey's account as of Monday afternoon, Oct. 23, five of which were posted since Oct. 18. He's posted numerous photos of himself in various scenic, serene-looking places around the country, including Iowa, with short, nostalgic yet enigmatic captions.
One of them referenced the Serenity Prayer, which was authored by Reinhold Niebuhr:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
All manner of reactions spurred out of Comey's tweets.
Many users were simply in shock and awe that he'd (digitally) resurfaced, and welcomed him back to the Twitterverse (with plentiful use of his infamous "Lordy").
Numerous people delved into interpretations and theories about what his sudden — and frequent — postings meant.
Some made jokes about the seemingly coded language.
Others were serious about reading into his posts and combing for deeper understandings.
Others made a connection to descriptions of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
One user, a reporter for NPR, even went so far as to examine the new tweets as a larger work.
One user took the reference to the Serenity Prayer to heart.
Niebuhr, whom Gizmodo reports was the topic of a thesis paper by Comey in college, was known for speaking out against Nazism and U.S. neutrality in World War II.
Not only has it drawn more abstract musings, but Comey's tweets have also prompted some to see them as hidden messaging.
The New Yorker also published an article dedicated to theories around why Comey made the Niebuhr reference.
The fact that Comey posted from Iowa also led people to the theory that the New York native is running for president in 2020.
Some people were joking, while others seemed pretty serious about the possibility.
In the meantime, Wittes' own Twitter has unsurprisingly been blowing up.
We're sorry, Benjamin. But we're definitely not sorry about the former FBI director sharing Anchor Man memes (more of this, please).