Spicer defends White House's lack of transparency

"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", said Noah Bookbinder, the group's executive director.

"We're following the law as both the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act prescribe it", Spicer said, referring to laws that mandate the preservation of government records, but not the release of White House visitor logs during a president's term in office.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House defended its commitment to transparency Monday amid criticism of its decision to keep visitors' records secret and new calls for President Donald Trump to release his federal tax returns.

However, the announcement was harshly criticised by government watchdog groups. The policy allowed critics of President Obama to question the real transparency of his administration.

The public and the media will be able to file requests for the logs under the Freedom of Information Act, Dubke said.

White House lawyers also deleted names for national security and other reasons before the logs were made public, meaning the records provided an incomplete picture of exactly who entered and left the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. By the time he left office in January, the Obama White House had publicized about 6 million visitor records. "It looks like we'll see them in court". The White House will decide on a case-by-case basis if they want to disclose who visits the president, vice-president, or any senior staff.

The White House refused to comment on any suspicious ethical activity or malpractice. This week, CREW and other groups also asked a federal court in NY "to include visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago and Trump's Manhattan residence, Trump Tower", NPR's Greg Allen reported.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has recently made some observations about Trump's traveling, as well as George Washington Law School professor Steve Schooner.

"I heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity", Ivanka said, adding that she has been "working in good faith with the White House Counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role". Udall, who introduced a bill last month to mandate publication of visitor logs, asked Friday. "In our view, the Freedom of Information Act requires the government to make this information available to the public".

"We maintain the same policy that every other administration did coming up here prior to the last one", Spicer said.