The Trump administration announced Friday it will be keeping all White House visitor logs secret until at least five years after President Trump leaves office, Time reports. According to Politico, the Obama administration had been putting the visitor logs online about three months after the fact. In breaking with that policy, White House communications director Michael Dubke cites “grave national security risks and privacy concerns,” CNN reports. Meanwhile, anonymous White House officials say the logs must remain private to allow Trump to meet with whomever he wants to get advice.
The Trump administration is citing a federal court ruling that deemed White House visitor logs “presidential records,” and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s also defending itself against Obama’s precedent, with one official saying there was only a “facade of transparency” under the former administration. Visitor logs made public under Obama were often redacted to remove “sensitive” names, celebrities, donors, or personal family visitors. Despite the decision to keep the visitor logs private, Dubke says the White House under Trump “has broken new ground in ensuring our government is … accessible to the American people.”