Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.) introduced legislation Monday that would classify presidential social media posts as presidential records, framing the bill as a means to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his Twitter use.
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or COVFEFE, Act would make it potentially illegal for the president to delete tweets by amending the Presidential Records Act to include social media posts, the Hill reported. All tweets on a president’s personal and official accounts would be documented for archival purposes.
The acronym of the bill is a reference to Trump’s much discussed Twitter typo last month, spelling out the same word that the president wrote.
“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” Trump tweeted on May 31, leading the media to speculate if the made-up term was more than a typo.
Quigley said Monday that Trump’s Twitter use is “unprecedented” and must be documented.
“President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented,” Quigley said in a statement.
“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.”
“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” Quigley added.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last week that Trump’s tweets should be considered official statements.
“The president is the president of the United States, so [his tweets are] considered official statements by the president of the United States,” Spicer told reporters.
Monday marked the second time that Quigley, co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, has introduced legislation with an acronym created to taunt Trump. Quigley’s Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness, or MAR-A-LAGO, Act, would require the White House to make its visitor logs public.