A day after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) sued a Twitter account pretending to be his cow for $250 million, the cow is more popular on Twitter than he is.
The @DevinCow account had a small following before Nunes filed his lawsuit against the account, another parody posing as Nunes’s mother, Republican strategist Liz Mair, and Twitter itself for defamation. In the short run at least, the lawsuit has backfired and turned the @DevinCow into a cause celebre for Nunes critics on the site.
Nunes’s lawsuit against the @DevinCow account alleges that the cow defamed him by calling him a criminal and saying he was under criminal investigation. @DevinCow’s attacks on Nunes often played on cow puns, calling him a “treasonous cowpoke” and “udder-ly worthless.”
“Devin is whey over his head in crime,” @DevinCow wrote in one tweet cited by Nunes as part of his defamation case.
@DevinCow’s growing profile also drew more attention to its origin story. The account’s name is a reference to the Nunes family moving their dairy farm to Iowa, where it may employ undocumented immigrants.
As Nunes tried to sue the account’s anonymous creator, Twitter users rallied around the fake cow in an attempt to get it more followers than Nunes.
Nunes has nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter and @DevinCow started with about 1,200. But following the digital heifer was an easy, if minor, opportunity for Democrats to get back at Nunes over what they see as his mishandling of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia when he led the panel before Democrats took the House this year.
Early on Wednesday afternoon, @DevinCow surpassed Nunes’s follower count. Around 2 p.m., the cow had roughly 420,000 followers — almost 30,000 more than Nunes.
Pun-wielding Twitter personalities, including CNN contributor Ana Navarro and Ellen DeGeneres producer Andy Lassner, urged Twitter users to follow the account.
“MOO-chas gracias,” Navarro tweeted, urging her followers to back the cow.
“Thank you for reminding us all what a colossally pathetic putz Devin Nunes is,” Lassner wrote.
Nunes and the cow account’s operator didn’t respond to requests for comment.
While the cow has dealt Nunes a defat on Twitter, Nunes might lose in court, too. Legal commentators have criticized Nunes’s case against the cow and the other defendants as flimsy.
On Tuesday, lawyer and Trump critic George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that he didn’t need to represent @DevinCow in court. The case was so weak, Conway wrote, that @DevinCow could win the case representing itself.