President Donald Trump put the kibosh on a White House practice that went forth under Barack Obama — the voluntary releasing of visitors’ logs.
Obama, under fire for his inability to uphold transparency vows he made on the campaign trail, announced his administration would voluntarily give the public looks at the White House visitors’ logs. But Trump’s administration decided against that practice.
National security, for one, a spokesman said.
From The Hill:
“White House communications director Mike Dubke released a statement citing “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.”
“A limited number of records of visitors to White House departments, such as the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Trade Representative, will be accessible through Freedom of Information Act requests. But most will not, including those that apply to the president and his senior staff.
“The announcement angered ethics and good-government watchdogs, who argue the public has the right to know who is visiting the White House.
“Three such organizations sued the administration in federal court this week, demanding the logs be released.
“‘It’s disappointing that the man who promised to ‘drain the swamp’ just took a massive step away from transparency by refusing the release the White House visitor logs that the American people have grown accustomed to accessing over the last six years,’ Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement.
“Bookbinder said the records ‘provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president.’
“Under the Trump administration’s policy, the records will be kept secret until five years after the president leaves office.”