Society

'Covfefe Act' Would Force Trump To Save Tweets

| by Jordan Smith

A Democratic member of the House has presented a bill that would compel President Donald Trump to save his tweets in future.

Rep. Mike Quigley is behind the Communication Over Various Feeds Electronically For Engagement Act -- or the Covfefe Act. The acronym is a cheeky reference to a mistake in one of Trump's tweets that was widely circulated, RNN reported.

Quigley argues that Trump's tweets have to be taken as policy statements.

"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 added, according to RNN.

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The late-night tweet that inspired Quigley was both misspelled and seemingly unfinished, reading: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe." The word "covfefe" is thought to have been a misspelling of "coverage."

Trump eventually deleted the original tweet, but followed it up with a challenge to his followers.

"Who can figure out the true meaning of 'covfefe' ??? Enjoy!" he tweeted.

Trump has used Twitter frequently since entering the White House, but Trump administration officials have insisted that the president's tweets do not amount to policy. They have often been caught defending different positions than those put forward by Trump on Twitter.

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One instance in which this has occurred is on immigration, where Trump's lawyers sought to argue in the courts that Trump's executive order preventing people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. is not a travel ban.

Trump took a different view.

"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" he tweeted.

"That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries," Trump wrote in another tweet, according to The Independent, "not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!"

Judges appear to agree with Quigley that Trump's tweets should be considered policy statements. On June 12, judges on the 9th District Court of Appeals cited Trump's tweets in their ruling that his travel ban was unconstitutional.

"Indeed, the President recently confirmed his assessment that it is the 'countries' that are inherently dangerous," the judges stated in their ruling, "rather than the 180 million individual nationals of those countries who are barred from entry under the President's 'travel ban'."

The judges also noted a statement by Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, that advised reporters to take Trump's tweets as official statements of policy from the White House.

"The [point] cannot be stressed enough that tweets on legal matters seriously undermine [the Administration's] agenda and POTUS -- and those who support him, as I do, need to reinforce that [point] and not be shy about it," lawyer George Conway, the husband of White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway, wrote on Twitter earlier in June.

Sources: RNN via WECT, The Independent, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2) (3), George Conway/Twitter (2) / Photo credit: Shealah Craighead/Wikimedia Commons

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