Rep. Mike Quigley(D-IL) has introduced a bill to clarify the rule about archiving presidential communications with regard to social media. Currently, presidential communications like email or transcripts from meetings must be archived but social media is a gray area. The congressman introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, a/k/a the “Covfefe Act,” to expressly include social media posts as official presidential communications.
— Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley) June 12, 2017
The Hill reports:
“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,” said Quigley in a statement.
Most people took the “covfefe” tweet to be a typo, although press secretary Sean Spicer told the media that the term was used intentionally.
“The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” he said.
The act further codifies the fact that President Trump uses social media for official statements and should, therefore, be treated as such.
The president’s Twitter account has come under fire in the recent weeks. The Knight First Amendment Institute filed a lawsuit suggesting that blocking followers from his @realDonaldTrump account is unconstitutional since he uses it as a public forum. Sean Spicer recently defended (and possibly also condemned) the president’s platform on Twitter saying,
“The president is president of the United States,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States.”