(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration will not voluntarily release White House visitor logs, breaking from an Obama administration practice of making those records public through the White House website.
While the Obama administration took a posture of proactive transparency in releasing some 6 million records, the Trump administration argues that the Obama-era practice was duplicative because the information could be sought out through other government sites.
While the logs will no longer be searchable through the WhiteHouse.gov database, they can still be sought out through a FOIA request.
Communications Director Michael Dubke lauded the Trump administration’s commitment to transparency in a statement announcing the decision.
“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 cannot gain access, the Trump administration has broken new ground in ensuring our government is both ethical and accessible to the American people,” Dubke said.
“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,” he continued.
A group of government watchdog groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration earlier this month in an attempt to compel the White House to continue the Obama-era practice of releasing White House visitor logs.
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