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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Vox: Remember covfefe? It might become a law about presidential records.

Jun 12, 2017
In the News

The following article was published on June 12, 2017. A link to the article can be found here.

By Carly Sitrin

Sometimes lawmakers can’t resist trolling Donald Trump. One Democrat is trying to take a misspelled Trump tweet all the way to the House floor.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced a bill on Monday that would amend the Presidential Records Act to include Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account. The bill’s name? The “COVFEFE” Act.

The PRA — first enacted in 1978 following the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal — governs how records of presidential communication are collected, archived, and made public. The bill’s full title is the “Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act” and it would add “social media” to the list of documentary materials preserved under the PRA and send Trump’s tweets to the National Archives. It would also make deleting tweets from this account a violation of the PRA subject to “disciplinary action.”

The current language of the PRA does list any form of “electronic communication” as worthy of archiving, but Quigley’s bill makes specific mention of “social media” in reference to the president’s personal Twitter account. Something that is probably a long time coming, seeing as press secretary Sean Spicer said last week that Trump’s tweets are all official White House statements. Despite the Trump administration’s insistence that his tweets are not worth reporting about, it’s clear they have become an integral part of the president’s communication efforts.

As for the name, the acronym “covfefe” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the viral Trump tweet in which the president misspelled the phrase “press coverage.” Trump had been in the middle of writing a late-night tweet complaining about his treatment by the media and apparently published a typo. The mistake was immediately picked up and joked about all over the internet. The original tweet has since been deleted.