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Sean Spicer accidentally tweets Trump is new HUD secretary

Commentary: The White House press secretary slips up, and the Oscars jokes begin.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


"It was that intern's fault!"

Alex Wong/Getty Images

And somewhere Melissa McCarthy coughed into her oatmeal.

Thursday was like any other morning on Twitter. Lots of people said something horrible and a few people sent tweets that they wish Twitter would have allowed them to edit.

In the latter category was President Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer. In a tweet that was deleted shortly after too many saw it, Spicer announced: "The Senate has confirmed @realDonaldTrump as the next Secretary of @HUDgov."

Trump is a man of many simultaneous talents. I suspect, though, that he wouldn't want to be both president and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Some even say he doesn't much like being president. I'm not sure I would either.

On Wednesday, the Senate actually gave its initial approval to Ben Carson, who is Trump's pick for HUD secretary. You can imagine, however, that some on Twitter couldn't help but carp at Spicer. Of course, the Oscars came to at least one mind.

"I think someone handed him the wrong envelope," tweeted famed number-nerd Nate Silver. Carson, now you know how the producers of "Moonlight" felt.

Some ascribed his momentary lapse to being distracted by current affairs. Oliver Willis, for example, mused: "sean spicer so flummoxed by #Sessions news he can't tweet straight." This was a reference to the attorney general allegedly meeting with the Russian Ambassador and apparently forgetting to tell the Senate about it.

Spicer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. He did, however, emit a new tweet that read: "The Senate has confirmed @RealBenCarson as @realDonaldTrump's Secretary of @HUDgov."

Personally, I have sympathy with Spicer. He simply got the wrong "real" member of the government. Twitter might have auto-suggested the president and Spicer didn't even notice. Surely everyone has done this and not even realized that the wrong person has been referenced.

One Twitterer, though, focused on another aspect entirely. "Are you sure that you're permitted to delete tweets on the Press Sec official account?" tweeted Ariane Bellamar.

Government records are supposed to be preserved, so that future generations can see not merely what sort of mess was made, but how. Surely, Twitter should come under this law, especially as the president is the most powerful Twitterer of our times.

The tweet that engendered a thousand jokes.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

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