House 'covfefe' bill would save presidential tweets

Andrew Cummings
June 13, 2017

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act on Monday, which aims to amend the Presidential Records Act to make sure that social media posts, including deleted tweets, are archived and classified as "documentary material", according to the bill.

From the incomprehensible "covfefe" to a post labeling fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey a "leaker", President Donald Trump's tweets would be preserved as presidential records if a Democratic lawmaker's proposed COVFEFE Act becomes law.

Quigley said elected officials "must answer for what they do and say" to help "maintain public trust in government". Trump, however, chooses to use his personal Twitter. After being posted around midnight on May 31, it stayed online for six hours and left baffled followers wondering what had happened to the American president.

"Covfefe", a term coined by U.S. President Donald Trump during a late-night Twitter rant, is now the namesake of a bill tabled in the House of Representatives.

If the bill were to be signed into law, it could also make deleting the president's tweets illegal.

"President Trump's frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented". Numerous messages sent from these accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved.

"They matter in the sense that they give him a communications tool", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at a press briefing the next day, adding that Twitter is important so he can "communicate directly to the people without the bias of the media" that she said "obsesses over every period, dot".

Trump has used his personal account to comment on official presidential business as well as tweak his opponents since he has been in office.

The Hill reported that while many people believed the tweet was a typo, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told journalists that Trump intentionally used the term.

On Tuesday, the president wrote that it's necessary "for certain risky countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!" In March, the Illinois Democrat submitted the MAR-A-LAGO act, a bill to expand the keeping of visitor logs for Presidential meetings outside of the White House. According to Ars Technica, the court used Trump's tweets on the issues to prove the "travel ban" is an excessively vague executive order that illegally targets people exclusively due to their country of origin.

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