On Tuesday, August 15th, just three days after a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring at least 19 others, President Donald Trump retweeted an image of a train running over a man with the CNN logo superimposed over his face.
Perhaps realizing that sharing this cartoon days after such a public tragedy was even more unacceptable than it normally would be (which, in a normal world, would be completely unacceptable,) the President then deleted the re-tweet.
Before he pulled it, however, many of the Trump's critics, including Keith Olbermann, captured the image and are now spreading this glimpse into the President's psyche across the Internet.
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
Interestingly, Trump's tweets ARE considered Presidential records, so deleting them is definitely illegal. However, during Barack Obama's presidency, a system was put in place that automatically records all tweets, even the deleted ones, which would fulfill the law's mandate that all of Trump's records are kept in tact. However HOWEVER, if the President tweets things from his personal account rather than his official POTUS account, it's unclear whether the White House system is recording them. So, basically, there's a lot of details that would need to get ironed out before we know whether Trump has committed an illegal act.