clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Remember covfefe? It might become a law about presidential records.

Sometimes lawmakers can’t resist trolling Donald Trump. One Democrat is trying to take a misspelled Trump tweet all the way to the House floor.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced a bill on Monday that would amend the Presidential Records Act to include Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account. The bill’s name? The “COVFEFE” Act.

The PRA — first enacted in 1978 following the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal — governs how records of presidential communication are collected, archived, and made public. The bill’s full title is the “Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act” and it would add “social media” to the list of documentary materials preserved under the PRA and send Trump’s tweets to the National Archives. It would also make deleting tweets from this account a violation of the PRA subject to “disciplinary action.”

The current language of the PRA does list any form of “electronic communication” as worthy of archiving, but Quigley’s bill makes specific mention of “social media” in reference to the president’s personal Twitter account. Something that is probably a long time coming, seeing as press secretary Sean Spicer said last week that Trump’s tweets are all official White House statements. Despite the Trump administration’s insistence that his tweets are not worth reporting about, it’s clear they have become an integral part of the president’s communication efforts.

As for the name, the acronym “covfefe” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the viral Trump tweet in which the president misspelled the phrase “press coverage.” Trump had been in the middle of writing a late-night tweet complaining about his treatment by the media and apparently published a typo. The mistake was immediately picked up and joked about all over the internet. The original tweet has since been deleted.

In response, Trump tweeted a joke of his own.

Trump inherited the official @POTUS Twitter account — which President Obama used to announce policy positions and general White House news — but he prefers to use his personal @realDonaldTrump account, which has nearly twice as many followers. This has raised questions as to how that account will be handled after his time in office.

A press release from Quigley’s office states:

While his personal account has become the de facto account for government business, it is unclear as to whether or not it would be archived in the same manner as the official @POTUS account under the Presidential Records Act.

And Quigley is no stranger to creative, Trump-related bill titles. In March, he introduced the “Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act,” requiring publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other places where President Trump regularly conducts official business including his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort. The Trump administration last month announced that the White House visitor logs would be kept secret.

According to Government Accountability Office stats, Trump’s trips to the “Winter White House” in Florida cost taxpayers nearly $10 million in his first month in office.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.