When any of us tweet out a spelling mistake and recognize it right away (and who hasn’t?), the normal, instinctual thing to do is to delete the original tweet and post a corrected version.
Making that kind of mistake doesn’t necessarily mean one is stupid or uneducated, but it does mean we weren’t careful and it leaves the door open for people to make assumptions about us we may not appreciate. Consider this tweet from Gateway Pundit reporter Lucian Wintrich, who has enough to deal with without people assuming he can’t spell…
— Lucian B. Wintrich (@lucianwintrich) March 10, 2017
Being a “regular Joe” like the rest of us in a lot of ways, President Donald Trump has also made his share of Twitter mistakes. OK, more than his fair share, but nonetheless he’s made mistakes, and like the rest of us, he generally will try to correct them. And with no ‘edit’ function on Twitter, the only way to correct something is to delete and start over.
But the problem for the president, now that he IS president, is that deleting misspelled tweets could be breaking the law.
And the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has made a point of letting the president know in the form of a letter sent Wednesday to White House Counsel Don McGahn. The letter says that deleting tweets from either his official @POTUS or @realDonaldTrump accounts could be a violation of the President Records Act, the Daily Mail has reported.
The act specifies that all official correspondence be archived, and Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Democrat ranking member Elijah Cummings clearly believe the tweets are public records.
“Federal record keeping and government transparency laws such as the Presidential Records Act ensure the official business of the federal government is properly preserved and accessible to the American public,” the letter states, according to Daily Mail.
The committee is also concerned that White House staff could be using “encrypted messaging applications like Signal, Confide, and WhatsApp” which make it “unlikely or impossible to preserve” records.
“Generally, strong encryption is the best defense against cyber breaches by outside actors, and can preserve the integrity of decision-making communications. The need for data security, however, does not justify circumventing requirements established by federal record keeping and transparency laws,” the letter continued.
On Trump’s Twitter use, the letter said: “Many of the messages sent from these accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved. It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets and if those tweets were not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act.”
One possible solution, according to the committee, is an auto-archiving system.
The letter gives the administration a deadline of March 22 to respond, turn in a copy of its policy on compliance with record keeping acts, provide evidence of records compliance training received by White House staff, and also include a list of senior officials who have used “alias email accounts” for official business.
The solution for President Trump? Perhaps a proofreader or even being extra careful to review what he’s written BEFORE he shoots out one of those classic 3 am tweets!
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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