WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is defending its commitment to transparency amid criticism of its decision to keep visitors' records secret and new calls for President Donald Trump to release his federal tax returns.
Government watchdog groups argue Trump is preventing the public from learning basic details about his financial ties and blocking information about the groups and individuals that are trying to influence the White House. The Obama administration released 6 million White House visitor records over eight years.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer is downplaying those disclosures because national security and law enforcement reasons were used to exclude certain visitors. Yet the Trump White House has also used national security and privacy concerns to justify keeping all visitor information under wraps.