Congressman introduces Covfefe Act; bill would protect government accountability, transparency

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 15:32:55-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It still isn’t clear what President Donald Trump meant by Covfefe, but an Illinois Congressman turned the word into an acronym for a new bill designed to amend the Presidential Records Act so presidential social media posts would be considered documentary material, ensuring their preservation.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) introduced the Covfefe Act – or Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act – Monday. He called it a silly name for a serious issue.

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

Trump has deleted at least 18 tweets since the start of his presidency, including the now famous Covfefe tweet.

President Trump’s tweets are considered official statements, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

“The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Spicer said about Trump’s tweets.

Trump started @realDonaldTrump as a private citizen, but has continued to use the account since being sworn into office.

The National Archives released guidance that social media merits historical recording in 2014. It also advised the White House earlier this year to “capture and preserve all tweets that the President posts … including those that are subsequently deleted.”

Quigley, who is a co-founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, called Trump’s frequent use of a personal Twitter account unprecedented – or unpresidented, as Trump wrote in another deleted Tweet.

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