The Hill: COVFEFE Act would make social media a presidential record
The following article was published on June 12, 2017. A link to the article can be found here.
By Joe Uchill
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) introduced legislation Monday to classify presidential social media posts — including President Trump's much-discussed tweets — as presidential records.
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act, which has the same acronym as an infamous Trump Twitter typo last month, would amend the Presidential Records Act to include "social media."
Presidential records must be preserved, according to the Presidential Records Act, which would make it potentially illegal for the president to delete tweets.
"President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication 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. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post," said Quigley in a statement.
Most people took the "covfefe" tweet to be a typo, although press secretary Sean Spicer told the media that the term was used intentionally.
"The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant," he said.
In January, National Archives spokesperson Miriam Kleiman told the Associated Press that social media posts would qualify as presidential records, but that statement is not explicitly spelled out in the law.
The White House, Trump surrogates and GOP congressmen have issued differing opinions on how seriously the president's tweets should be taken. But the White House recently clarified that social media should be taken as official communication from the president.
Last week, Spicer confirmed they should be taken as official presidential statements.
"The president is president of the United States, so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States,” he said.
COVFEFE marks Quigley's second use of an acronym to jab at President Trump. His Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act would force the president to make the White House visitor logs, as well as the visitor logs at Trump's resorts, public.