Ethics group rips Trump for refusing to release White House visitor logs
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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Friday ripped President Trump for choosing to keep White House visitor logs private, reversing a practice first started by former President Obama.

The White House shared a statement Friday announcing the decision to not release visitor log records. CREW responded shortly afterward, calling the decision "disappointing" and "a massive step away from transparency."

“It’s disappointing that the man who promised to ‘drain the swamp’ just took a massive step away from transparency by refusing to release the White House visitor logs that the American people have grown accustomed to accessing over the last six years and that provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president," Noah Bookbinder, CREW's executive director, said in a statement.

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"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 continued. "This week, we sued the Trump administration to make sure they would continue to release the logs. It looks like we’ll see them in court.”

CREW announced earlier this week that it and several other ethics organizations are suing Trump over access to visitor logs. 

The National Security Archive, CREW and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University have all filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act calling for the release of the logs.

White House communications director Mike Dubke said in a statement that “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually" prompted the decision.