Didn’t we all just have a blast making fun of Trump last month when he fumbled his phone during his morning tweet and accidentally informed the nation: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”?
Once we all figured out that “covfefe” wasn’t some secret, right-wing dogwhistle term for “eat the press” that dates back to the Nazis — despite Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s insistence that Trump’s people “know exactly what he meant” — it got a little crazy out there, what with the hashtag and the T-shirts and the think pieces. You can buy a covfefe mug online right now, on the same pages with the ones that say “liberal tears”; there are more than 600,000 “Covfefe Song” videos on YouTube.
So yes, ha ha! Covfefe! Meanwhile Trump was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Our president’s Twitter habit is but one of the many unprecedented things about this administration; some debate has broken out about what exactly his tweets mean even when he isn’t making up words. Are they just casual communications, as many of his paid defenders insist, or are these official missives from the president of the United States? Because by law, every word uttered by a sitting president must be preserved.
A Democrat from Illinois, Rep. Mike Quigley, addresses that quandary with the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act, or COVFEFE Act for short. It seeks to amend the Presidential Records Act to include social media, which means, among other things, tweets cannot be deleted from the presidential account. More than 30 tweets have been deleted from the Trump account since he was elected in November 2016 — there’s a complete list of them at Factbase — including the initial covfefe tweet.
So like a lot of other things, something stupid Trump did online is being used against him, this time to leverage more transparency from his administration.
And yet, he persists.