The Trump White House ends the Obama-era practice of releasing visitor logs to the public, citing national security concerns.
The decision angered government watchdog groups who accused Trump of reneging on his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington. The groups see the visitor logs as important tools for monitoring which individuals or groups may be trying to influence White House policy. Trump has been widely criticized for a lack of openness in refusing to release his tax returns, breaking with decades of precedent.
Senior White House officials argued that the decision to keep the logs secret is in line with what previous administrations have done, except for President Barack Obama’s, and that continuing Obama’s practice of voluntarily releasing the records could interfere with policy development.The Associated Press
White House officials also defend the move by pointing to a different decision: opening the White House press briefing room to outlets that weren’t permitted by other administrations. One of those outlets is Russian propaganda network One America News.
Visitor logs remain confidential until Trump is out of office. The Biden administration does away with Trump’s rule in 2021, opting instead for transparency for the American people.
Associated Press (Archived)
Axios / Yahoo (Archived)