Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement on the Trump administration’s decision that it will not release White House visitor logs, breaking with the pro-transparency precedent set by the Obama administration.
“This stunning decision from the Trump White House raises an obvious question: what is President Trump trying to hide? Once again, this administration is stonewalling information that Congress and the American people have a right to see. Americans simply deserve to know who has access to the president and who is working to influence policy at the highest levels. The president brings unprecedented conflicts of interest to the White House, and he already has taken actions in office that suggest he is more concerned with helping people like him – the wealthy and well–connected – than he is with empowering ordinary Americans. By refusing to release the White House visitor logs, President Trump is confirming widespread concerns that the special interests are getting special treatment in this administration.
“The president’s promise to ‘drain the swamp’ has never rung more hollow than it does today. If President Trump won’t release this critical information on his own, then Congress must compel him to do so. We must act immediately to pass the MAR-A-LAGO Act to force the Trump administration to release visitor logs from the White House and from other properties where President Trump regularly conducts official business. The American people are entitled to that basic level of transparency.”
Udall introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act on March 24 with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). The bill requires the publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business, including various Trump Organization properties frequented by the president.