President Trump has decided that because of “grave national security risks and privacy concerns,” he will break with former President Barack Obama’s policy of voluntarily disclosing the names of most visitors to the White House.
The decision, counter to Trump’s campaign promise of greater transparency, signals a significant and disconcerting shift from the Obama administration where the names of close to six million visitors, lobbyists included, were released for public scrutiny.
But watchdog groups aren’t taking this latest move by the president laying down. They’re mounting a movement and preparing to go to court — something that was also done when Obama first took over and seemed to be reluctant to release a list of White House visitors.
It seems reasonable that there could be those who visit the White House whose names and identities may best be kept unannounced and unrevealed. But certainly, that cannot be the case for the majority of visitors.
One has to wonder if the Trump administration believes that there will be a slew of clandestine meetings that should be hidden from the public — from taxpayers and voters who deserve real transparency.
This latest move sounds very little like the America so many of us have grown to support and love. Instead, it feels like we’re being shuttled behind a red, white and blue iron curtain.
We do not support this new policy and are hopeful that efforts of resistance from the public and our elected officials will lead the president to reconsider.