Forty minutes. An hour. The questions mounted.
Had the president’s lawyers, so eager to curb his stream-of-consciousness missives, tackled the commander in chief under the cover of night?
Perhaps, some worried aloud, Mr. Trump had experienced a medical episode a quarter of the way through his 140 characters.
No one at the White House could immediately be reached for comment.
By 1 a.m., the debate had effectively consumed Twitter — or at least a certain segment of insomniac Beltway types, often journalists and political operatives — ascending the list of trending topics.
But the instinct to linger was powerful, for those who had glimpsed the initial post, even if they did not seem entirely sure why they were still awake.
Eventually, the jokes lurched into delirium. Twitter users held forth on the former F.B.I. director James Covfefe. They pledged to order a grande covfefe during their next Starbucks runs. They announced they had at last discovered what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson at the end of “Lost in Translation.”
And as the hour wore on, stragglers turned their lonely eyes to the only account that could save them.