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White House decides against releasing visitor records

19 April 2017
White House decides against releasing visitor records

White House lawyers also deleted names for national security and other reasons before the logs were made public, meaning the records provided an incomplete picture of exactly who entered and left the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

In 2012, Trump took to Twitter to criticize Obama about not releasing documents. Under a 2009 settlement with these activists, the Obama White House disclosed the visitor logs for the rest of President Barack Obama's time in office; Mr. Trump should disclose his also.

What it means: It is true that Obama broke with past history in deciding to release the White House visitor logs publicly (and online!). But largely because the president had appeared to have reversed himself in reaction to criticism for lack of transparency, the controversy died down, though it should not have.

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The explanation regarding the visitors log decision offered by White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday afternoon strains the bounds of credulity - and that's being kind.

According to a report from The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, an unnamed intelligence source believes Nunes may have felt some heat from the White House to "manufacture a fake scandal".

In refusing these requests, Obama effectively adopted the approach of his predecessor, which had led to some of the most contentious political and legal battles during the Bush administration over government secrecy.

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According to one source, while Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee plan to call Trump campaign officials linked to Russian Federation as witnesses, "the Republican list is nearly entirely people from the Obama Administration".

What he said: "We recognize that there's a privacy aspect to allowing citizens to come express their views".

"The White House said, 'We are going to mobilize to find something to justify the President's tweet that he was being surveilled.' They put out an all-points bulletin and said, 'We need to find something that justifies the President's insane tweet about surveillance at Trump Tower, '" the source told Lizza. "And the last one, frankly, was a faux level of doing that, because when you go through and you scrub everyone's name out that you don't want everyone to know, that really is not an honest attempt at doing it". That Trump is now unwilling to match Obama's record of transparency - which was far from stellar - would suggest, under Trump's logic, that he must be hiding something, right? He is not a believer in the old adage that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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Make no mistake: Trump won't lose any large number - or even small number - of votes over this decidedly un-transparent decision.