US politician introduces the Covfefe Act

Representative Mike Quigley wants to preserve Mr Trump's tweets for posterity

Emily Shugerman
New Yorl
Monday 12 June 2017 21:43 BST
A screengrab of Donald Trump's mysterious 'covfefe' tweet
A screengrab of Donald Trump's mysterious 'covfefe' tweet (Twitter via AP)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


One Democratic congressman wants to ensure all of Donald Trump’s tweets are preserved for posterity – misspellings, typos and all.

Representative Mike Quigley has introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act – also known as the COVFEFE Act – to require the preservation of Mr Trump’s tweets by the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA).

The acronym is a tongue-in-cheek reference to one of Mr Trump’s more notorious tweets, in which he condemned “negative press covfefe,” and did not acknowledge the error for more than six hours.

Mr Quigley, however, says the act is more than just a dig at the President.

“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets,” the representative said in a statement.

He added, "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.”

In the months since he took office, Mr Trump’s tweets have become an increasing source of concern for Republican and Democrats alike.

In recent weeks, the President attacked the mayor of London, deemed his executive order on travel restrictions a “travel ban,” and threatened former FBI Director James Comey with “tapes” of their conversations – all via Twitter.

The President’s comments on Mr Comey, in particular, could be evidence of obstruction of justice, according to some legal experts.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that Mr Trump's frequent tweets about the FBI's investigations are "not helping" Republicans.

“You may be the first president in history to go down because you can’t stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that, if you just were quiet, would clear you,” Mr Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The head of the National Archives Administration, David Ferriero, said in March that the White House had been advised to “capture and preserve all tweets that the President posts in the course of his official duties”.

According to Mr Quigley, however, it is unclear whether this applies to Mr Trump’s personal account, where he publishes the majority of his newsworthy missives. Mr Quigley – and likely many of his Democratic colleagues – want to ensure that happens.

“Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post,” the representative said.

Mr Quigley previously helped introduce the MAR-A-LAGO Act: a bill to require the publication of White House visitor logs, and a reference to Mr Trump’s South Florida estate.

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