President Donald Trump will not release records of visitors to the White House, his administration announced Friday, breaking with President Barack Obama and raising concerns about transparency.
The Obama administration had posted the visitor logs online. But White House communications director Michael Dubke said in a statement Trump had decided to withhold them because of “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.” Time first reported the reversal.
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Under Obama, the White House released records about three months after the visits occurred. The policy contained a series of exceptions, however, allowing the White House to withhold the names of people it believed were sensitive or personal visitors to the Obama family.
Several groups have already filed a lawsuit demanding the Trump White House turn over the records, as well as logs of visitors to his homes in New York and Florida. Transparency advocates say the logs give a lens into who the president meets, including lobbyists and lawmakers, and who shapes his thinking.