"Trump is trying to shield his activities from public view because instead of draining the swamp, his administration is auctioning off taxpayer assets, tax breaks for the rich and perhaps even lives lost in military adventures", said good government advocate Lisa McCormick.
President Donald Trump's administration announced that it will not follow predecessor Barack Obama's policy of voluntarily disclosing the names of visitors to the White House complex, citing "grave national security risks and privacy concerns".
The announcement marks a significant shift from the Obama administration which released the names of almost 6 million visitors, including scores of lobbyists.
Dubke added that the logs would be disclosed "as outlined under the Freedom of Information Act".
Judicial Watch said it was "disappointed" by the administration's decision, calling it a move "perfectly in line with the policy of the Obama White House to prevent these visitors logs from being processed and released under the Freedom of Information Act".
Under the new policy, it will be up to the White House to decide whether to release the names of visitors coming to meet with the president, vice president and their senior staff, at least in the short term.
"By instituting historic restrictions on lobbying to close the revolving door, expanding and elevating ethics within the White House Counsel's office, and opening the White House press briefing room to media outlets that otherwise can not gain access, the Trump administration has broken new ground in ensuring our government is both ethical and accessible to the American people", said Dubke.More news: Russia: Putin Explained to Tillerson Why Relations Have Deteriorated
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However, the Obama administration did include records on how many names were withheld, and later released their names once the information was no longer considered sensitive.
The Trump administration was sued in federal court this week by a coalition of watchdog groups to compel the release of the White House visitor logs.
The Trump administration will keep secret the records of those who visit the White House, ending a practice started under the Obama administration of partially releasing visitor logs, a White House official said Friday. The White House did not say who would maintain custody of the records during his time in office.
Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, called the security and privacy reasons "a White House lie", reports POLITICO.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for failing to release the records on April 10. "The White House requires all of its employees to work closely with ethics counsel to ensure compliance and has aggressively required employees to recuse or divest where the law requires", the statement read. Most of that money came through channels that are only legal due to the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial 2010 Citizens United v.
"There was outcry over how he briefed the president and the press but did not share the data with his colleagues on the committee", The Two-Way reported.