National

White House defends transparency after visitor log reversal

CREW said it filed a lawsuit this week against the Trump administration "to make sure they would continue to release the logs".

This piece of legislation was aimed directly at Donald Trump's conflicts of interest by requiring the release of visitor logs to the public wherever Trump holds court, though it is named after Trump's self-styled "Winter White House".

The yesterday's announcement has drawn scathing criticism from government watchdog groups.

"We are following the law as both the presidential records act and the federal records act prescribe it", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. This is a sharp departure from Obama's policy, which voluntarily granted access to more than 6 million documents during his administration.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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"We bring people in, we release participant lists, we give press the opportunity to come into the room, see everybody who's there, hear part of the discussion", Spicer said.

Ivanka has announced last month that she would be assuming a White House employee role to assist her father. This week, CREW and other groups also asked a federal court in NY "to include visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago and Trump's Manhattan residence, Trump Tower", NPR's Greg Allen reported.

The visitor logs, which are maintained by the Secret Service, are a record of everyone who enters the White House.

While the White House is not required to release a record of visitors unless requested through a Freedom of Information Act filing (and the requests may be denied), the Obama administration proactively disclosed the identities of guests on the White House website.

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"This stunning decision from the Trump White House raises an obvious question: what is President Trump trying to hide?" Sen.

Some past and present government officials have argued that White House officials should be permitted to conduct meetings outside the public eye as a matter of policy.

The other aspect of visitor logs is they only cover the White House and other selected government sites.

President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are fast at work amassing a war chest for 2020, raising tens of millions of dollars before Trump even marks his 100th day in the White House. It was the first administration to make a practice of routinely releasing the information.

At his inauguration speech in January, Trump told Americans, "We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people".

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