Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) decided that the era of Donald Trump’s most notorious typo should last forever. In the spirit of everlasting torture, Quigley spawned the COVFEFE Act, which — horrendously — is real. Yes, it’s a nightmare but probably a necessary one. The morning after Trump’s gibberish (which everyone largely agrees was meant to say “coverage” because he was railing against the “unfair” media), he tried to turn it into a puzzle, and then Sean Spicer piled on with claims that #Covfefe meant something to a very select group of people because no one stopped him.
No one believes Spicer, ever, and Trump deleted his #Covfefe, which he isn’t supposed to do because a president’s tweets are supposed to be preserved in the national archives until the apocalypse strikes. Although this tweet only contained a typo, deletion becomes a more serious potential issue when he attacks other leaders, thereby causing rifts that stretch across the globe.
Enter Quigley and his Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically For Engagement Act, which will expand the Presidential Records Act to include social media posts. The official press release explains why:
“In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets. 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.”
Will the bill pass? Who knows, and there’s not much clarity on whether it would apply specifically to the @Potus Twitter account or Trump’s personal page as well, but Sean Spicer did say that Trump’s tweets are “official statements,” which he’ll probably backtrack upon tomorrow while being asked about this legislation.
If you feel like you’ve heard a lot about Quigley lately, that’s probably because he introduced the House version of the MAR-A-LAGO Act, so named for Trump’s Palm Beach compound and which would “require the disclosure of certain visitor access records” from both the White House and that private residence. Following the act’s introduction, the White House decided to keep visitor logs secret, and the resulting mess is still unresolved.
As far as the COVFEFE Act goes, there’s a natural tendency to burn it in a fire, but with a tweet-president like Trump, it would serve a beneficial purpose.