Trump must have known it was wrong to start hiding the White House visitor logs, because he waited until the afternoon of Good Friday to announce his new policy – a classic “news dump.”
It's no surprise the Washington Post now calls Trump “the most secretive president since Richard Nixon.”1
Now any corporate lobbyist or Russia-tied associate can visit Trump in the White House and the public will be kept in the dark.
Sign and share the petition: Reinstate the public White House visitor logs!
The public White House visitor logs are a crucial tool for public accountability.
While initially pushed into it after a lawsuit from transparency advocates, the Obama White House ended up releasing nearly 6 million visitor records,2 prompting countless news stories about who the Obama administration met with, like using visitor log data to trace Google’s large influence in the administration.3
This new secretive move comes as Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp” of special interest influence are proving to be a farce.
Stories break nearly every day about Trump putting corporate lobbyists directly into the positions they formerly influenced from the outside.4
And bombshell revelations keep dropping about Trump’s associates, like his former campaign chief Paul Manafort receiving $13 million in shady loans from Trump-linked lenders the day he left the Trump campaign (where he worked for “free”).5
Sign and share the petition: The public deserves to know who is visiting the White House to influence the Trump administration. Reverse Trump's decision to hide the public White House visitor logs.
In case you were wondering, the Trump administration’s excuses for the change are bogus.
The administration claims “grave national security risks” (Obama’s policy already had an exception for national security)6 and that it would save $70,000 by 2020 (Trump’s frequent trips to Mar-A-Lago have already cost taxpayers $20 million).7
Trump’s move began a weekend when nationwide Tax Marches reminded that Trump is also the first president in 40 years to not publicly release his tax returns.
We’ve known all along that from paying his contractors8 to fulfilling his promised donations to veterans groups,9 Trump usually only does the right thing when forced to.
While Republicans in Congress may pretend they are uninvolved or powerless in this outrageous decision, they are complicit – Congress has legislation before it right now that would require the release of these visitor logs.
Sign and share the petition: Reinstate the public White House visitor logs immediately.
1. Washington Post, "The Daily 202: What does Trump have to hide? Secretive White House unapologetic about clawing back transparency," Apr. 17, 2017.
2. Mother Jones, "Transparency Groups Sue to Get Trump White House Visitor Logs," Apr. 10, 2017.
3. The Intercept, "The Android Administration," Apr. 22, 2017.
4. ProPublica, "Trump is Hiring Lobbyists and Top Ethics Official Says ‘There’s No Transparency’," Apr. 15, 2017.
5. NY Times, "After Campaign Exit, Manafort Borrowed From Businesses With Trump Ties," Apr. 12, 2017.
6. CNN, "Trump White House to keep visitor logs private," Apr. 14, 2017.
7. CNN, "Trump on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama's travel spending in 1 year," Apr. 11, 2017.
8. USA Today, "USA TODAY exclusive: Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills," June 9, 2016.
9. Associated Press, "Big Trump checks to vets groups sent on day of media report," May 31, 2016.