At one point in Donald Trump’s nascent administration, Republicans and White House aides alike tried to dismiss the Don’s tweets as a “just tweets.” But by June 6, the inimitable press secretary Sean Spicer was endorsing Trump’s thumbsy missives as “official statements.”
“Dear Congressman Conaway and Ranking Member Schiff,” wrote Trump’s legislative affairs director, Marc Short, on official White House letterhead. “In response to the Committee’s inquiry, we refer you to President Trump’s June 22, 2017, statement regarding this matter: ‘With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.” (emphasis added)
Let’s just ignore the obvious obfuscation of “I have no idea” and also the reporting that the White House counsel reviewed the language of that tweet he deployed. Beyond all that, the White House is now responding to official Congressional inquiries with letters quoting “statements”—otherwise known as tweets—from Trump. In other words, Trump’s tweets are now synonymous with official White House statements, and not just because Spicey says so.