If there’s one thing that’s predictable about President Donald Trump’s tweets, it’s that he’ll eventually commit a few typos. But it’s what happens after these typos that has one Congressional committee a bit twisted.
On Wednesday, the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the White House expressing concern about the way Trump deletes those typo-filled tweets, preventing them from being cataloged properly by the Presidential Records Act.
That act was implemented in 1978, after the Watergate scandal, make those archives public and putting them under the care of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). And with the expansion of social media — and the president’s use of it — so, too, must specialists file away all those tweets.
And Trump has deleted a lot of tweets, mostly for typos. Like on Friday when it took him three tries to get a tweet up with the word “hereby” correctly spelled. (Though other tweets, like his Saturday morning misspelling of the word “tap” as “tapp,” remain published.)
The letter, signed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in a rare Trump Era show of bipartisanship, also addressed additional concerns about White House employees using private, non-government emails and encryption apps like Signal and Confide to communicate.
The letter credits the staff for using encryption to protect against any breaches (though White House staff was reportedly using the app to avoid media leaks) but criticizes use of such apps as a means of “circumventing requirements established by federal recordkeeping and transparency laws.”
Like the president, federal employees are also subject to an act that archives their communications, the Federal Records Act. The letter closes by requesting the White House submit names of federal employees who have used private emails and what its policy is when it comes to archiving those emails.
The letter doesn’t cite specific incidents that may have prompted the warning, but earlier this year, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon were reported to have been using RNC email accounts instead of .gov emails, which were susceptible to hacking.
And there’s been ongoing concerns not just about Trump’s deleted tweets but the security of the Android phone he’s been occasionally using to send the tweets. In February, Sen. Tom Carper sent a letter to the Department of Defense asking for them to look into that specific issue.
Read the full letter from Chaffetz and Cummings below.