President Joe Biden’s administration will resume disclosing all White House visitors on a monthly basis after former President Donald Trump had ended the practice, the White House announced on Friday.
The administration disclosed visitors through January on Friday, listing some 400 people who had attended events at the White House. Many were members of military bands or other staff who had roles to play in Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20. (RELATED: Biden Says Americans Need To Put Disappointing Jobs Report ‘In Perspective’)
The White House just published the first log of visitors from Jan. These are people invited on the grounds, and the White House says they’ll disclose them on a monthly basis. Trump had stopped the practice, citing privacy & “grave national security risks.”https://t.co/ABrBcQVyby
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 7, 2021
The logs show just how sparse in-person meetings have been in Biden’s White House due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump had previously ended the practice of disclosing White House visitors in 2017, arguing it infringed on his privacy and presented “grave national security risks.” (RELATED: Biden Press Office Seeks To Charge Reporters $170 For COVID-19 Tests Before Entering White House)
Under President Barack Obama, the logs often listed hundreds of visitors per day, from lobbyists and donors to politicians and administration officials. The logs were often imperfect, however, as scheduled appointments that never actually occurred often still made it on the lists. Many administrations also reserved the right to withhold names under certain circumstances, such as candidates for federal judicial nominations.
Biden’s White House appeared hesitant to reinstate the visitor logs for months after gaining office.