On August 15, just three days after a white supremacist drove into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring dozens more, President Trump retweeted an image of a train running over a man with the CNN logo superimposed on his face. Perhaps realizing that sharing this cartoon days after such a public tragedy was even more unacceptable than normal (sharing such images should always be unacceptable), Trump deleted the tweet. Before he pulled it, however, many of the Trump's critics, including Keith Olbermann, captured the image, and they are now asking Twitter users to spread this glimpse into the President's psyche.
He CLAIMS to be against violence . . . and then tweets this??— James (@jrk999) August 15, 2017
Very sick. .
This is angry eight year old behavior. Lordy, this guy has the nuclear codes...— Common Citizen (@stuartjennifer) August 15, 2017
Is he allowed to delete tweets? I thought his tweets were considered presidential records.— Sherry Kumar (@SherryKumar4) August 15, 2017
Trump's tweets are considered presidential records, and deleting them would be illegal. During Barack Obama's presidency, however, a system was put in place that automatically records all tweets, even deleted ones, which would fulfill the law's mandate that all of Trump's records are kept intact. However, if Trump tweets from his personal account rather than his official POTUS account, it's unclear whether the White House system records them. Clearly, there are many legal questions to answer before we know whether Trump committed an(other) illegal act.