Trump White House will no longer publicly identify visitors

Earlier this week, a group of watchdog organizations sued the Trump administration in federal court to get the White House to release the same types of records the Obama administration made public on its website.

While the Obama administration did release millions of records, it was not an exercise in unfiltered transparency - something Trump officials were quick to point out as "faux" transparency.

The Trump administration's decision to keep the records secret means no documentation of any White House comings and goings will be routinely released while Trump is in office, though officials said information could be released case by case.

"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", said Noah Bookbinder, the group's executive director.

White House officials argued that the new policy is needed to help the president meet freely with outside advisers.

The policy allowed the Obama administration to withhold names of celebrities who attended private parties at the White House and potential Supreme Court nominees.

According to ABC News, administration officials say Trump has already improved some of Washington's ethics practices, which apparently should exempt him from criticism over this decision.

The former White House photographer has gained an impressive following on Instagram since Trump's inauguration - but not, as you might expect, for his beautifully nostalgic photos of the Obamas. However, the lists didn't include meetings it considered sensitive to national security or "confidential". The White House will decide on a case-by-case basis if they want to disclose who visits the president, vice-president, or any senior staff. The records were released two or three months after the visits and contained the name of each visitor, the date of entry to the White House grounds and who requested the visitor be allowed to enter.

Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said, "The only reason to keep secret the White House visitor logs is to hide from the American public the corporate influence-peddlers who are seeking favors and gifts from the White House".

Democrats in Congress have also introduced legislation that would require the Trump administration to maintain and disclose the names of visitors at places aside the White House where he conducts business, including his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

"Given the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, the White House Office will disclose Secret Service logs as outlined under the Freedom of Information Act, a position the Obama White House successfully defended in federal court", Dubke said in a statement.

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