President Donald Trump’s taking to Twitter to attack his enemies and engage his supporters has become one of the defining characteristics of his presidency. But his tendency to delete tweets, oftentimes to fix a typo, has some questioning if the president has violated the 1978 Presidential Records Act.
On Monday, Rep. Mike Quigley introduced The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act, which will update the law to include social media. The National Archives and Records Administration has already instructed the Trump administration to keep records of all tweets, but the COVFEFE Act would update the law to confirm the National Archives and Records Administration’s guidance.
The president tweeted and then deleted “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” just after midnight May 31, setting off internet hysteria. While most assumed Trump had made a typo, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “the president and a small group of people knew exactly what he meant.”
In a statement, Quigley said the change was needed to ensure that Trump’s personal account, @realDonaldTrump, is covered under the Presidential Records Act. Also, including social media under the PRA would make the deletion of tweets a violation of the law.