World

Trump's tweets to be preserved by National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration has told the White House to keep each of U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets, even those he deletes or corrects, and the White House has agreed.

Presidential Records Act requires such correspondence to be preserved for history

The National Archives is telling the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump's tweets, even those he deletes or corrects. (J. David Ake/Associated Press)

The National Archives and Records Administration has told the White House to keep each of U.S. President Donald Trump's tweets, even those he deletes or corrects, and the White House has agreed.

The head of the archives, David S. Ferriero, told two Democratic senators in a letter last week that the White House has assured him it's saving all of Trump's Twitter blasts.

The archives contacted the White House about the matter because the Presidential Records Act requires such correspondence to be preserved for history.

Ferriero did not say when the agency contacted White House officials to remind them about the records requirement, but officials briefed the White House counsel's office about the law on Feb. 2, according to the archivist's letter to senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Tom Carper of Delaware.

Host Jimmy Kimmel checks U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter account on a giant screen at the 89th Oscars on Feb. 26 in Hollywood. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

The archivist's letter, dated March 30, doesn't describe precisely how the White House is saving Trump's tweets. The Obama administration used an automated system to keep copies of president Barack Obama's tweets.

McCaskill and Carper raised the issue of Trump's tweets in early March following a spate of instances in which Trump had deleted or altered earlier tweets. The two senators had previously raised concerns about Trump's tweets in a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn.

Twitter use heavily scrutinized

The two senators also pressed the archives for information about reports that some White House staffers had been ordered to avoid emails or use smartphone apps that do not preserve emails because of Trump administration concerns about leaks to the media.

Ferriero told them he was aware of those press reports but said that White House guidance "to all employees expressly forbids the use of such apps." Ferriero also said he was not aware of government officials who have been instructed to avoid using email as a method of work-related communication.

Trump's almost daily use of his official White House Twitter account and his separate private Twitter account has been heavily scrutinized by the media and by political friends and foes since his November election and even more so since his inauguration.

Three minutes before he took the oath of office in January, Trump tweeted from his private account that he was "honered to serve you, the great American people, as your 45th President of the United States." The misspelled word in the tweet was later altered to "honored" and then the tweet was deleted entirely.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.