US committee raises concerns over Trump's deleted tweets

The White House is being asked to detail its record-keeping and archiving processes

US committee raises concerns over Trump's deleted tweets

Picture by: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

A US congressional committee is calling on the White House to clarify their record-keeping policies amid concerns over Donald Trump's deleted tweets.

President Trump has deleted several tweets since taking up office, mostly in relation to typos and spelling errors.

Last week, for example, Trump posted and quickly deleted two tweets with incorrect spellings of 'hereby' before ultimately tweeting out a corrected version.

While it may seem like a simple correction, concerns have been raised that, if the original messages were not correctly archived, the deletion of tweets could represent a violation of the US Presidential Records Act.

Established in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the legislation requires the preservation of official records of US presidents and vice presidents.

In a letter to White House lawyers, Republican Jason Chaffetz and Democrat Elijah Cummings of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform raise concerns over the deleted tweets.

"Many of the messages sent from these accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved," they write. "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."

The two congressmen highlight that the Obama administration implemented auto-archiving systems on Twitter accounts to avoid any such concerns.

They call on the White House to provide the committee with information about the Trump administration's archiving systems and training.

The letter also notes news reports that White House staff are using encrypted messaging applications such as Confide, Signal and WhatsApp - which the congressmen warn "could result in the creation of presidential or federal records that would be unlikely or impossible to preserve".

They add that the need for data security "does not justify circumventing" record-keeping and transparency rules.