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White House ordered to save all of Trump's tweets - even the ones he deleted or changed

The 45th president of the US has been using two different accounts since his inauguration.

Image: Alex Brandon

THE US NATIONAL Archives has ordered the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump’s tweets, even those he deletes or corrects.

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 Trump’s Twitter tirades.

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.

The archivist’s letter, dated 30 March, doesn’t describe precisely how the White House is saving Trump’s tweets. The Obama administration used an automated system to isolate and preserve copies of President Barack Obama’s tweets.

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

Preserved

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 Twitter account and his separate private account has been heavily scrutinised by the media and by political friends and foes since his November election and even more so since his inauguration.

Trump Twitter Trump's personal account. Source: J. David Ake/PA

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.

Trump repeatedly criticised Democratic president opponent Hillary Clinton for her extensive use of private emails when she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.

According to an agenda of the 2 February briefing with White House officials, archives general counsel Gary Stern and John Laster, director of the agency’s presidential materials division, explained that the president and White House counsel were “solely responsible for managing presidential records”.

The role of the archives, they added, is mostly advisory, but presidential records can only be disposed of after the White House consults the archivist in writing.

Read: Syria airstrike: Donald Trump’s 180 degree shift on attacking the Assad regime >

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