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COVFEFE Act Could Prevent President Trump From Deleting His Tweets

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois introduced a bill with the goal of preserving President Donald Trump's tweets.
Posted at 1:41 PM, Jun 13, 2017

That nonsensical word President Donald Trump tweeted late last month is now the name of a piece of legislation introduced in the U.S. House. 

Yes, we are 100 percent serious.

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois has introduced the COVFEFE Act, which is short for Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement.

It would officially make presidential social media posts subject to the Presidential Records Act of 1978. That act lays out rules for collecting, preserving and making publicly available the records of the president and vice president.

The bill would change the wording of the the Presidential Records Act of 1978 to include the term "social media."

Quigley's proposed amendment would also require the preservation of posts on the president's personal social media accounts.

Quigley cited concerns over whether Trump's tweets from his personal account would be preserved just as tweets from the official @POTUS account are as a reason for the COVFEFE Act. 

There had been confusion among Trump's staff as to whether the president's tweets should be considered official statements.

"It's not policy. It's not an executive order. It's social media. Please understand the difference," Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka told CNN's "New Day" on June 5. 

"This obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president —" Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told NBC's "Today" on June 5.

"That's his preferred method of communication with the American people," NBC's Craig Melvin said.

"That's not true," Conway replied.

"Well, the president is the president of the United States, so they're considered official statements by the president of the United States," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on June 6. 

According to ProPublica, Trump has deleted at least 18 tweets from his personal account while in office. Quigley's amendment would make such deletions a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Under the Presidential Records Act, it's up to the president to manage presidential records.

The archivist of the United States previously told Democratic Senators that his office "advised" the White House to "capture and preserve all tweets that the President posts in the course of his official duties, including those that are subsequently deleted, as Presidential records." He said the White House confirmed it was following that advice.

Quigley is apparently a fan of acronyms. He and several colleagues introduced the MAR-A-LAGO Act in March. 

Mar-a-Lago is Trump's private club in Palm Beach, Florida. But in the case of Quigley's legislation, it stands for Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act.

Under the bill, visitor logs maintained at the White House and any other place Trump conducts business — including his Mar-a-Lago club — would need to be published.