One assumes that Republicans didn't expect to hear about this in the middle of a hearing on the contents of Hunter Biden's computer.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Donald Trump has, as it were, a sensitive bone in his body. We could start by remembering the reason that led the former statesman to run for the presidency of the United States: it was because the host and comedian Seth Meyers had made fun of him. Another example of the phenomenon is his reaction to a celebrity calling him a "Dirty Little Wimp" on Twitter.
If that incident has landed in a repressed corner of your memory with the countless pranks the Trump years have brought us, a quick reminder. In September 2019, Donald Trump, who has not yet been banned from Twitter, logs onto his favorite social network and complains that he is not getting the recognition he deserves for the judicial reform that has just been ratified by Congress. To be specific, he writes, "Razor-sharp musicians like @johnlegend, and his oh-so-tongued wife, are talking everywhere right now about how great this law is – but I didn't see them at the time we needed help passing it." The publication inspired Chrissy Teigen – who, while not named, is none other than John Legend's wife – to tweet out her own,
"Lol but what a dirty little wimp. he tags everyone but me, what an honor Mr. President."
"A derogatory statement to the president"
Life took its course and we didn't hear so much about this story after that. But this Wednesday, in the midst of a House hearing on Twitter's decision to limit its users' access to a New York Post story about Hunter Biden's computer – which Republicans hold as the ultimate evidence of a vast conspiracy – the matter suddenly resurfaced.
It was learned through the testimony of Anika Collier Navaroli, a former member of Twitter's content moderation team, that the White House was quick to respond when it read Chrissy Teigen's tweet. "The White House almost immediately contacted Twitter after that asking you to delete the tweet. Is that correct?" asked Congressman Gerry Connolly to Anika Collier Navaroli. "I do remember hearing about a request from the White House to make sure that we were going to look at that tweet, so that we would remove it because it was a derogatory statement about the president," she explained.
Later, during an exchange with Rep. Maxwell Frost, the full phrase "Dirty Little Wimp" was filled in the official Congressional Record.
The tweet, of course, was not removed. It's unclear whether it was Trump himself – an avid Twitter user at the time – who told his staff to ask the site to remove the slur, or whether they acted on their own, anticipating his request. Perhaps we'll know more in upcoming hearings.