White House will no longer publicly identify visitors
Apr 17 2017 by Larry Hoffman
He said that Trump's ethics executive order in late January eliminated a requirement, first adopted by President Barack Obama, that executive branch appointees not accept jobs in agencies they recently lobbied. The bill requires the publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business, including various Trump Organization properties frequented by the president.
The administration had "broken new ground in ensuring our government is both ethical and accessible to the American people", according to officials, because the White House had issued more press passes and prohibited lobbyists from getting federal positions.
Mr Trump has rejected other basic standards of presidential disclosures, like the release of his tax returns.
The changes have drawn intense criticism from government ethics advocates across the city.
The existence of the visitor logs burst into the news last month when House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, went to the White House grounds to review intelligence reports on which he later briefed the President.
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The Obama administration initially fought attempts by Congress and conservative and liberal groups to obtain visitor records.
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.
White House Communications director Michael Dubke said in a statement on Friday that "the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually" was the reason for keeping the records secret. "It's disappointing that the man who promised to "drain the swamp" just took a massive step away from transparency", the organization's statement read. This creates a greater chance that they might have conflicts related to investments or former clients, which could force them to sell off assets, recuse themselves or seek a waiver. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News.