White House

White House Declines to Release Virtual Visitor Logs

President Biden and Vice President Harris host a meeting with a bipartisan group of House and Senate members at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 24, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The Biden administration has declined to release virtual visitor logs for the White House after promising to do so during the 2020 campaign season.

President Obama first instituted the practice of releasing visitor logs for the White House, but the Trump administration ceased doing so. While the current administration has made records of in-person visits to the White House available, it has declined to do so for virtual meetings.

“For the sake of clarity—The Biden-Harris Administration will return to the policy of releasing White House visitor logs,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter on January 15.

Psaki dismissed the issue on Monday after a reporter asked after the virtual visitor logs during a White House briefing.

“He’s meeting with members of the Senate virtually today,” Psaki said. “There, I’ve released it for you. What else would you like to know?”

Hours before the briefing, White House spokesman Mike Gwin said the Biden administration was committed to transparency in comments to Politico.

“President Biden committed during the campaign to restoring ethics and transparency to government, and in his first weeks in office he’s taken significant steps to deliver on that, including by reinstating the daily press briefing, putting in place sweeping ethics guidelines for the administration, and pledging to regularly release visitor logs again,” Gwin said.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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