Following White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s pronouncement that President Trump’s tweets are “considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced legislation on Monday to official classify presidential social media posts as official presidential record.
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act, which not coincidentally has the same acronym as the President’s recent Twitter typo, would amend the Presidential Records Act to include social media.
While some members of Congress have already warned President Trump about deleting his tweets, the amendment would official make it potentially illegal for the president to do so — something that he actually did with the infamous “covfefe” tweet.
“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,” Rep. Quigley said in a statement.
While most people understood the “covfefe” tweet to be merely a typo, following the Trump administration’s rule of never admitting to a mistake, Sean Spicer told reporters that it was intentional. “The President and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” he said.
The amendment to the Presidential Records Act that is being proposed by Quigley is somewhat of a formality. In January, National Archives spokesperson Miriam Kleiman told the Associated Press that social media posts qualify as presidential records under the current iteration of the Act. However, the White House, Trump surrogates, and some GOP members of Congress have opined that the President’s tweets should be viewed differently.
The COVFEFE Act is the second time that the Illinois Democrat has taken a shot at Trump through the use of acronyms in legislation. Earlier this year, he introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act would force the President to make visitor logs at the White House as well as Trump’s resorts publicly available.
Watch Spicer’s statement that Trump’s tweets are official presidential statements below: