Federal Politics

Published — April 14, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

White House acknowledges visitor logs are incomplete

Introduction

After months of boasting about releasing the names of all visitors to the White House, the Obama administration now concedes the visitor logs are incomplete.

Responding to the Center for Public Integrity’s findings earlier this week, spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the visitor logs aren’t intended to be a complete record of who enters the building. “They’re not designed for public release. They’re designed for security reasons,” he said. Jake Tapper of ABC News put the question to Carney at the daily White House media briefing.

A Center investigation revealed the logs are incomplete for thousands of visitors to the White House, including lobbyists, government employees, campaign donors, policy experts, friends of the first family, and even celebrities like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. The analysis showed the logs routinely omit or cloud key details about the identity of visitors, who they met with, the nature of the visit, and even includes the names of people who never showed up

Yet the White House website proudly describes “over 1,000,000 records of everyone who’s come through the doors of the White House” via a searchable database.

Carney defended the administration and said the president had “made extraordinary efforts to demonstrate the transparency that he thinks is vitally important.”

“So the fact that it’s incomplete is not a reflection of any effort to withhold information. We release the information that we have in ways that have never been done before by any administration of any party. And we continue to work on ways to enhance the transparency that we’ve achieved already,” he said.

Carney said the official logs kept by the White House are primarily a security system to protect the first family and the people who work in the White House.

Asked why some names of people known to have visited the White House are absent from the logs, Carney said that issue should be taken up with the Secret Service. “I’d have to refer questions about that to them. But our effort at transparency is broad and sincere, and we continue to make efforts to be, to earn our reputation as the most transparent administration in history every day.”

Some transparency advocates aren’t so sure that administration deserves praise for releasing huge numbers of names—most of them people who entered the building on group tours.

“I think they ought to reassess, look at costs and benefits, and revisit this. My own feeling that it was an interesting experiment but that it has not paid dividends that anyone would have hoped for,” Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy of the Federation of American Scientists, said Thursday. “The resources should be redirected somewhere else or retooled in a different direction.”

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT