January 28th, 2010
01:21 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Fact Check: The administration posts White House visitors online

Claim: For the first time in history - my administration posts our White House visitors online.

Verdict: The Obama administration did make history by posting its logsonline. You can browse them yourself here.

But the release of these logs came only after a legal challenge by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group filed suit seeking the logs related to the visits by certain groups. When the Obama administration settled the suit it went further, agreeing to post the logs of all visitors from September 15 onward.

While this seems like a big win for transparency, Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, says because the administration voluntarily agreed to release the logs, the administration could later decide to reverse this decision. Additionally, nothing compels the next administration to take the same course. Nothing besides the promise that a reversal would provoke a resumption of legal action!

Bottom line: The Obama administration did pioneer new transparency in visitor logs but it took outside pressure to get there.

Filed under: President Obama • SOTU fact check
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ForThePeople

    Does that list of visitors include CSPAN cameramen?

    January 28, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Stop the Nonsense

    Gee, you mean the Tea baggers and the haters are wrong yet agiain?
    I'm shocked!

    January 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. EJ

    That link doesn't work.

    January 28, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Sue

    Initially, Obama refused to release these visitors' logs.

    Then, Judicial Watch threatened Obama and the administration with a lawsuit.

    Do your job CNN.......Contact Judicial Watch and find out the facts..

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I sure would like to see which lobbyists have been visiting the elected right wingnuts.

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Dar

    That is because Odumbo lies, it isnt his fault, he's a Dem and thats what Dems do, They LIE.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 28, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    Fact check? The fact is Obama lies and lies and lies. Then his staff lies and lies and lies to cover for him. Are you suggesting this visitor log is some kind of litmus test for White House honesty?

    January 28, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Tommy

    Who cares? AT least he did it!

    Jesus, employees at CNN are such corporate hacks.

    Why don't you complain about Cheney's "energy task force"? Good god we had no clue who was visiting the white house for 8 years, and NOBODY complained about it.

    CNN you have to do a better job covering up your advocacy for corporations.

    January 28, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Jinx Fannin

    I wonder if the White House is keeping two sets of visitor logs????

    January 28, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. John

    Wake up America, the Democrats use an open form of government and the Republican resort to secret deal making with special interests. Always been that way and it always will be that way unless we elect enough Democrats to make fundamental changes in our government. Right now, we have government by rich special interests who not only buy republican politicians but the media that feeds us so called "facts".

    January 28, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. lifelong democrat

    There's not transparency in this current administration, it's all lip service. I can't wait for November to be here.

    January 28, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Jane/Seattle

    REAL Truth-telling seems to be an issue that plagues all facets of our cultures. Don Miguel Ruiz in "The Four Agreements" and other works explores these issues for our societies.

    These Agreements ARE:
    1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
    2. Take Nothing Personally (as it all emanates from the giver)
    3. Make NO Assumptions
    4. Do the Very Best That You Can

    Easy to read, but practice makes perfect as Mom used to say. Peace

    January 28, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Wanda in Montana

    Too bad we can't compel a release of the list from Cheney's meetings with energy mobsters, er, moguls.

    Good old Enron, remember them? Kenny Boy and company? Anyone? The people who are demanding these things from the Obama White House were mostly silent when we were being screwed and tatooed by Bush and Cheney's' cronies.

    January 28, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. rjt

    I thought the oresidents speech was an embarrassment. He talked about his historical accomplishments that just were not true. He talked about tranparency and bipartisanship but everything so far has been done in back rooms without both parties. He has lobbyists on his staff although he claims not to. Can we believe in anything he says?

    January 28, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. kevin

    Where`s Waldo I mean Obama guess where on the campaign trail again.
    has this president spent anytime at work , the answer NO, how can a president with the House and the Senate be so lame and so out of touch
    with what this country needs be our President . please Americans do not re-elect this empty suit .

    January 28, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Stimulous is working in Houston, Texas. Teachers just got bonuses for excellence of their hard work towards students' achievements.

    January 28, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Classic preppy suit move: Take credit for something that you didn't think of yourself and were forced to do.

    Technically true, but shows Obama to be the typical status quo career politician he is.

    My next thought of course is what is he hiding in the pre-Sept 15 logs?

    January 28, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Dave

    They lie, they spin, Obama has his campaign spinners as chief advisors, but no action– spin is useless... hot air cannot be attributed to global warming!

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Michael

    This is all true, Now let us remember the response from the Cheney (oops! Bush) administration to demends for transparency...

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Mark

    Funny how Jerimiah Wright, William Ayers, and Bertha Lewis all have their names on the visitors list........and the white house claims it's just people with the same name as the preacher, the bomber and the acorn lady.

    January 28, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |