Saturday 24 February 2018

US congressman introduces 'COVFEFE' act aimed at Donald Trump's tweets

President Donald Trump (AP)
President Donald Trump (AP)

Daniel O'Connor

A United States congressman has introduced an act which make social media posts official documentary material for the National Archives, aptly titled the ‘COVFEFE’ act.

The ‘Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement’  Act, or COVFEFE for short, aims to ensure that tweets or other social media posts from US presidents to ensure all presidential communication is archived to further promote transparency within the government.

US Representative Mike Quigley introduced the act today, less than two weeks after Donald Trump posted a tweet with the word ‘covfefe’, which was previously unheard of.

The full tweet read “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” but was quickly removed.

The President refused to say it was a typo though, and later posted a follow up suggesting that there was possibly meaning behind the fictitious word.

The proposed act would document such tweets for archival purposes, and make deleting tweets a violation of the current Presidential Records Act

Screen grab of the
Screen grab of the "covfefe" tweet from Donald Trump's Twitter account (AP)

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

“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.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has already referenced the legitimacy of President Trump’s use of social media since he was officially made President of the United States last January.

“The president is president of the United States so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States,” Spicer said.

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