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Watchdog Group Claims White House Deleting Embarrassing Tweet Violated Law

Anastasia Boushee
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A watchdog group is now demanding a federal investigation into a tweet deleted by the White House earlier this week, arguing that the action taken by the Biden administration may have been a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Since Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk, unbiased fact-checks have begun to pop up across the platform — including a few notes that were added to tweets from Democrats’ accounts, even the White House’s official Twitter account.

The White House was fact-checked for claiming in a tweet that “Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.”

Twitter added a note to the tweet, clarifying that “Seniors will receive a large Social Security benefit increase due to the annual cost of living adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate.”

The White House later deleted the tweet after receiving significant backlash for trying to pass off the increase as a positive impact of Biden’s leadership rather than a negative effect of inflation.

Now, a nonpartisan watchdog group, Protect the Public’s Trust, is asserting that there are “serious questions” raised over whether presidential record-keeping protocols were followed properly when the White House deleted the tweet on November 2.

In a letter sent to the heads of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Office of Government Ethics on Friday, the group stated that the tweet is “almost certainly a record that belongs to the public and subject to the Act’s destruction protocol.”

“Outside of the unprecedented reliance on the Act to support a subpoena to search the home of a former U.S. President, the Act and its enforcement have historically received little attention,” wrote the group’s director, Michael Chamberlain, referring to the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to search for presidential records.

“However, now that strict enforcement of the Act appears to be a high priority for the Archivist of the United States, and by extension the Department of Justice, we would like to bring to your attention a matter of serious concern as it applies to preserving the historical record of President Joseph Biden,” Chamberlain added.

The Presidential Records Act states that the president can only dispose of White House records “once the views of the Archivist of the United States on the proposed disposal have been obtained in writing.”

The watchdog group went on to argue that the White House’s excuse for deleting the tweet — which was to claim that it was “not complete” and missing “context” — raises “serious questions whether it was deleted to save the administration embarrassment or avoid criticism and whether the proper protocols were followed.”

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the deleted tweet.

“The tweet was not complete,” she claimed. “Usually when we put out a tweet we post it with context, and it did not have that context.”