The decision is a departure from the Obama administration, which did liberate the logs. Michael Dubke, the White House communications head, told Time that the White House’s decision was made out of concern for national security and privacy, and to protect President Donald Trump’s ability to discreetly seek counsel.
Citing” the mausoleum national protection dangers and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of guests annually ,” the White House said in a statement that it would” disclose Secret services logs as outlined under the Freedom of Information Act .”
The logs will remain private until five years old after Trump leaves agency, Time reported.
The White House mentions it will honor public information requests to specific areas of the White House legally classified as agencies, such as the Office of Management and Budget, in agreement with the Post.
While the Obama administration did liberate its guest logs, they were often incomplete and officials had ways of keeping guests’ names off them.
Trump has faced numerous the issue of potential conflicts of interest after refusing to freeing his tax returns. Trump, who as successful candidates expressed willingness to” drain the swamp” of Washington insiders, has hitherto accused then-President Barack Obama of a lack of transparency.
Visits to the White House became a matter of special interest after Rep. Devin Nunes( R-Calif .) met with informants on White House grounds who supposedly told him the Trump campaign had been caught up in government surveillance of Trump Tower. Nunes refused to uncovered his White House informants, but they were later revealed to be Ezra Cohen-Watnick, senior head of intellect on the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House counsel’s office. Classified reports have shown no testify that the Obama administration did anything unusual.
Time notes that” three White House officials said they expect criticism of these policies, but believe it is necessary to preserve the ability of the chairman to seek advice from whomever he wants,’ with some discretion .'”
Sen. Tom Udall( D-N.M .) crisply criticized the news on Friday.
Faiz Shakir, national political head of the ACLU, said in a statement that” the only reasonable opinion is to believe the Trump administration has many things it is trying to hide .”
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said his group would fight the Trump administration in court to liberate the records.
” It’s disappointing that the man who promised to’ drain the inundate’ simply took a massive pace away from transparency by refusing the freeing the White House visitor logs that the American people have grown accustomed to retrieving over the last six years and that provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president ,” Bookbinder said in a statement.
” The Obama administration is in agreement with freeing the visitor logs in response to our lawsuits, and despite the Trump administration ‘< wbr > wbr> s fret over’ mausoleum national protection dangers and concerns ,’ merely positives for the American people came out of them ,” he went on.” This week, we sued the Trump administration to make sure they would continue to freeing the logs. It looks like we’ll interpret them in court .”
This is a developing tale and will be updated . em>
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