“Covfefe” will never die.
Or at least that’s the hope of Democratic lawmaker Mike Quigley, who on Monday proposed a bill that would ensure each one of President Donald Trump’s tweets is preserved in history.
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or – wait for it – COVFEFE Act – would add social media posts to the list of records filed under the Presidential Records Act.
“In order to maintain trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say,” Quigley, an Illinois representative, said in a statement. “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.”
The bill’s title is a reference to a confusing, after-midnight tweet Trump posted last month that simply read, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” The tweet stayed up for hours while social media users went wild with jokes at Trump’s expense.
Although most assumed the president meant to type “coverage,” Trump added a layer of mystery to the word with a tweet later that morning that said “Who can figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’ ??? Enjoy!”
Press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t clear things up when a reporter brought up the cryptic message that afternoon.
“I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant,” Spicer said.
Trump’s use of Twitter, and especially his occasional deletion of tweets, has sparked debate among legal scholars as to whether social media posts are official presidential records. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 mandates the preservation of all records issued by presidents and vice presidents.