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White House decides against releasing visitor records

"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", Bookbinder said.

White House communications director Michael Dubke said Trump has taken steps to improve the ethical climate in Washington, such as imposing new restrictions on lobbying by departing administration officials and opening the White House press briefing room to outlets that previously didn't have access.

In contrast, the Trump administration's decision to end the practice means that no records documenting any White House comings and goings will be released on a routine basis while he is in office, though the officials said some information could be released case by case.

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

In 2009, Obama decided to make his visitor logs public after four similar lawsuits by CREW.

Those exemptions, said Blanton, demonstrate that the previous system allowed for transparency without compromising national security or privacy concerns. It continued to release the records even though a federal appeals court ruled in 2013 that the logs can be withheld under presidential executive privilege. "It looks like we'll see them in court".

"It would be a significant setback to efforts to give the public insight into who influences the White House if this policy were to be discontinued or limited", the letter to Callahan stated.

Regarding the trumped up allegation that President Barack Obama "bugged" Trump Tower, the accusations fabricated against Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, and, au courant, blaming Obama for Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria, finally, I get it.

On Friday, Dubke defended the White House's decision by citing other areas he said was demonstrating new levels of transparency.

Let us hope Trump is more successful in cracking down on the bureaucracy. Earlier this month, liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed suit in the Southern District of NY against the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Secret Service, for access to the logs on the same grounds. Throughout the campaign Trump pledged to defend the Second Amendment and on October 9, 2016, he promised to nominate a justice would protect gun rights from " people like Hillary Clinton".

Other opponents have cried hypocrisy, pointing out that Trump wants to keep his visitor logs private but has no problem supporting a bill making it legal for Internet service providers to sell their customers' web browsing histories - with neither their knowledge nor consent - to third-party marketers. "In our view, the Freedom of Information Act requires the government to make this information available to the public".

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