On Friday, a statement was released by White House communications director Mike Dubke that announced the White House would no longer publicly release its visitor logs, breaking from the tradition set forth by the Obama administration.
In that statement, Dubke claimed that the reason for this decision was “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.”
However, it doesn’t appear anyone is buying this, regardless of political ideology.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch reacted by stating the White House and President Donald Trump apparently don’t want to be held accountable to the American people.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 14, 2017
The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation sent out a formal letter protesting the Trump administration’s secrecy.
— Sunlight Foundation (@SunFoundation) April 14, 2017
The Daily Caller’s Kaitlan Collins noted that when Trump tweeted out a story of hers last month — highlighting the number of times the Russian ambassador visited the Obama White House — the facts of the story came from Obama visitor logs.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) April 14, 2017
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s Executive Director Noah Bookbinder released a statement explaining his disappointment in the Trump administration:
“It’s disappointing that the man who promised to ‘drain the swamp’ just took a massive step away from transparency by refusing to release the White House visitor logs that the American people have grown accustomed to accessing over the last six years and that provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president. The Obama administration agreed to release the visitor logs in response to our lawsuits, and despite the Trump administration’s worry over ‘grave national security risks and concerns,’ only positives for the American people came out of them. This week, we sued the Trump administration to make sure they would continue to release the logs. It looks like we’ll see them in court.”
And, finally, the president himself whined about the lack of transparency of Obama back in 2012, claiming the then-president was hiding his records.
Why does Obama believe he shouldn't comply with record releases that his predecessors did of their own volition? Hiding something?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
Why is @BarackObama spending millions to try and hide his records? He is the least transparent President–ever–and he ran on transparency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2012
One wonders just why the White House is choosing to fight this battle when it will obviously not be a winner with the American public, especially in light of Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp.” Questions will inevitably arise over whether or not the White House is trying to hide something when it comes to who is visiting the president.