Tuesday night, Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) lost handily to Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate GOP runoff election. Strange, who was appointed to the Senate to replace Jeff Sessions, lost despite President Donald Trump's endorsement, and Trump appeared on the campaign trail to support Strange.
Now, evidence of this--on Twitter, at least--has vanished as Trump has mysteriously deleted some his tweets supporting Strange. The tweets were archived on ProPublica's "Politwoops" website that tracks deleted tweets, but cannot be seen on Twitter. The three tweets all encouraged voters to go out and support Strange. Some of Trump's earlier pro-Strange tweets remain on the site.
Trump did, however, tweet his congratulations to Moore and wished him well in the general election.
Congratulations to Roy Moore on his Republican Primary win in Alabama. Luther Strange started way back & ran a good race. Roy, WIN in Dec!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
Trump's use of the delete button raises some interesting legal questions. He's been sued by two groups who allege that when he deletes tweets, he is in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
At least two government watchdog groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, believe that when Mr. Trump deletes a tweet he may be breaking the law.
The groups filed a lawsuit in June against Mr. Trump and the Executive Office of the President, claiming that deleting social media posts violates the Presidential Records Act, a law that requires presidential communications to be archived. The groups are also suing to require White House staff members to archive material sent through encrypted messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Signal. (New York Times)
While Trump's deleted tweets are archived by separate websites, its legality should certainly be addressed, especially as attitudes towards social media evolve.
Either way, it looks as though Trump is interested in promoting a unified GOP rather than focusing on individual candidates.