The “COVFEFE Act of 2017” was put forward by Rep. Mike Quigley Monday, in an effort to amend the Presidential Records Act (PRA) to include all social media posts in the list of presidential communications that must be preserved.
“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” Quigley said in a statement about his bill, adding that Trump’s use of his personal Twitter account is “unprecedented.”
“If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference.”
While the term “covfefe” became infamous when Trump tweeted it out as an apparent spelling error, Quigley is passing it off as an acronym: Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement.
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Quigley may have a valid argument with his new bill. According to The National Archives, tweets are considered official communications, but rules were clearer when former president Barack Obama used the official @POTUS account. Trump, however, chooses to use his personal Twitter.
The National Archives advised the White House to preserve Trump’s tweets in April, according to ABC News. The White House responded that they already do so, but did not elaborate.
Quigley’s bill would mean that all of Trump’s social media posts are preserved, regardless of the account. It would also make deleting tweets a violation of the PRA.
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