Presidential Tweets Might Soon Become a Matter of Public Record

Campaign for Liberty
Donald Trump is a very, very active Twitter user, and he doesn't mince words. Since taking office, his often controversial Twitter activity hasn't receded an inch. If anything, it's actually increased, and his old habit of quietly erasing past tweets when the thinking behind them falls into sharper question hasn't gone anywhere either. Well, a new bill is under evaluation which may make it illegal for him or his team to do so.

That's fascinating in and of itself, but then you find out what the bill is called - The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act. Shorten that, and you've got The COVFEFE Act. I am not even remotely joking, somebody actually sat down and figured out a way of turning Trump's weirdest Twitter gaffe into an acronym about making it illegal for him to delete his Twitter gaffes. What a time to be alive.

The bill, put into motion by transparency caucus co-chair Michael Quigley, would make all presidential social media posts a part of the presidential record, falling under the 'documentary material' banner. That would include not only tweets, but DMs, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and everything in between. Said posts could still be deleted, but it would be completely redundant, as they would have to be put into the public archive anyway.

This is particularly important for Twitter, because the Trump administration actually use it to clarify stances and policies. It just happens that the man himself also uses it to do things like lambasting the Mayor of London for allegedly not responding strongly enough to the recent attacks in London Bridge and Borough Market. These are the things that his cabinet would probably rather didn't make it into the record, but Quigley is proposing that they do.

Trump has deleted 18 tweets since taking office, some of them for mistakes, and some which made big, sweeping politically charged statements, such as a call for a former assistant US attorney to be subpoenaed. The White House currently has an informal agreement with the National Archives to preserve deleted social media content, but seemingly the National Archives would be left with little to no recourse if The White House violated this agreement.

If this does become law, it will likely result in much more careful monitoring of the presidential Twitter page, but Trump has always done more or less whatever he wants with it, and stern warnings about things ending up as public record probably won't stop him. At least we can take some solace in the fact that it won't be hard to demonstrate to future generations what kind of president he was.

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