15:09 GMT +322 May 2018
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    US President Donald Trump walks from Marine One upon his return to the White House in Washington, US, April 9, 2017.

    So Much for ‘Drain The Swamp’: White House Won’t Say Who’s Visiting

    © REUTERS / Joshua Roberts
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    If you thought the new Trump administration would prioritize transparency, don’t get your hopes up. On Friday, the White House said it would not reveal visitor logs to the public.

    The move leaves open the question of what the administration has to hide, but officials said that it was “the grave national security risks and privacy concerns” that led to the decision. 

    The policy was first initiated by President Barack Obama, who released the names of the millions of people who enter the grounds of the White House. These records “provide indispensable information about who is seeking to influence the president,” Noah Bookbinder of legal watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told The Hill. 

    Donald Trump’s White House has grown to look a lot like Wall Street despite the populist rhetoric the now-president deployed on the campaign trail. Gary Cohn, Dina Powell and Steve Mnuchin all have histories at Goldman Sachs. And even though Steve Bannon, chief strategist to Trump, frequently bashes the presence of such “globalist” bankers in the White House, Bannon himself used to work at the Mergers and Acquisitions desk at Goldman. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

    Hypocrisy may not be reserved just for members of Trump's staff:

    Government watchdogs say the public has a right to know who is walking into the West Wing. Instead, the man who vowed to “drain the swamp” is leading the effort to keep White House records for select eyes only. 

    The decision comes from the same man who stated in his inaugural address, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.” 

    Trump kicked off that speech by stating, “we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the American People.” 

    Is “the time for empty talk is over?” It doesn’t appear so.


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