The administration of President Donald Trump is ending his predecessor’s policy of disclosing the names of most people who visit the White House complex, a senior administration official confirmed to NBC News Friday.
The official acknowledged that the administration will likely face criticism for a lack of transparency, but argued the White House believes it will get policy input more freely from individuals if their names aren’t made public.
The Washington Post first reported Friday that the White House cited “grave national security risks and privacy concerns” as its rationale for discontinuing the Obama administration’s disclosures.
The official who spoke with NBC News accused the Obama White House of practicing “faux” transparency.
The Obama administration voluntarily disclosed about 6 million visitor records during the eight years of his presidency.
Visitor logs are maintained by the U.S. Secret Service, but a federal appeals court ruled in 2013 that the names are “presidential records” and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.