The Trump administration will not voluntarily disclose logs of visitors to the White House complex, it announced Friday, breaking with the practice started under former President Obama.
A limited number of records of visitors to White House departments, such as the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Trade Representative, will be accessible through Freedom of Information Act requests. But most will not, including those that apply to the president and his senior staff.
Three such organizations sued the administration in federal court this week, demanding the logs be released.
"It’s disappointing that the man who promised to ‘drain the swamp’ just took a massive step away from transparency by refusing the release the White House visitor logs that the American people have grown accustomed to accessing over the last six years," Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement.
Bookbinder said the records "provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president."
Under the Trump administration’s policy, the records will be kept secret until five years after the president leaves office.
“This page is being updated. It will post records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, once they become available,” the webpage reads.
The Obama administration’s decision to disclose visitor logs came in response to a series of lawsuits that began under former President George W. Bush. Records were posted online on a monthly basis for people who visited 90 to 120 days prior.