Trump and his administration’s notorious use of Twitter and other social media to release breaking news and policy decisions lends urgency to ensuring these records are thoroughly preserved. The National Archives and Records Administration should have a complete record of all their official work on these unofficial channels. These decisions have included Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson and appointment of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State and his directing Congress to follow him on Twitter for updates on military action against Iran. Trump administrators have also consistently broken the law on social media, using their official and supposedly non-partisan platforms for blatantly political purposes, raising further urgency for records of their accounts and communications to be preserved.
CREW has requested communications between NARA and any social media platform company, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Skype, Slack, Signal and Parler on the preservation of presidential records. CREW also has requested a list of any social media accounts identified by NARA as an account used for official government business that should be archived.
Given the Trump administration’s consistently shoddy record keeping practices, there must be extra scrutiny towards how records from the administration will be archived during this presidential transition process. CREW is already suing the White House to prevent further destruction of records, and this request will shed light on how NARA is working with social media companies to ensure that a full record of Trump’s communications with the public through social media are archived. Trump and his officials’ abuse and sometimes illegal use of social media platforms to manipulate the public must be documented in full. The public should know how NARA is planning to ensure their preservation.