Conservative and liberal watchdogs slam Trump for refusing to release White House visitor logs

News of the Trump administration's move to keep White House visitor logs secret has prompted criticism from conservative and liberal groups. The administration cited "grave national-security risks and privacy concerns" on Friday as reasons to keep the logs under wraps.

Tom Fitton, president of the conservative-leaning watchdog Judicial Watch, said the organization was "disappointed" with the White House's decision. "Unfortunately, this move is perfectly in line with the policy of the Obama White House to prevent these visitors logs from being processed and released under the Freedom of Information Act," Fitton's statement read.

"This new secrecy policy undermines the rule of law and suggests this White House doesn't want to be accountable to the American people," Fitton said.

The liberal-leaning American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in its own statement: "Elected officials work for the people and we deserve to see government business conducted in transparent daylight."

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Four million people around the world, including 500,000 in Washington, DC, attend the Women's March on January 21, 2017.

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Trump signs an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade agreement.

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Trump signs his first immigration executive order, sparking nationwide protests.

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Trump nominates 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

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Michael Flynn resigns as National Security Adviser amid uproar over his communications with Russian officials.

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau comes to Washington to announce the Canada-US Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits White House and Trump says he "can live with either" a one-state or a two-state solution, backing away from historic US support for Palestinian state.

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Trump tweets that the media is "the enemy of the American people," a day after a wide-ranging press briefing during which he lambasted the press for reporting "fake news" about his administration.

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Trump announces $54 billion increase in defense spending.

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Kellyanne Conway provokes outrage after being photographed sitting casually with her feet on an Oval Office couch.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia after reports emerge that Sessions did not inform Congress of his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

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Trump signs a revised travel ban, scaling back a few of the restrictions, in what Trump calls a "watered down version" of the original executive order. Two federal judges rule against the ban on March 15.

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Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss NATO. Trump references reports that Merkel was spied on by Obama in 2013, joking he and Merkel "have something in common, perhaps."

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FBI Director James Comey confirms an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump's campaign's ties to Russian officials. Comey also tells Congress that he has no evidence to support Trump's claims that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

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Trump signs an executive order rolling back key Obama-era climate policies, including the Clean Power Plan.

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Ivanka Trump announces that she will be an official White House employee, taking on an unpaid position as an adviser to her father, after facing criticism from ethics experts for her previously unofficial role.

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Rep. Devin Nunes announces that he has information that Trump and his associates may have been "incidentally" surveilled by American intelligence agencies, information The New York Times reported was given to him by two White House officials. Nunes says he will continue to chair the committee investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, amid Democrats' protests.

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The ACLU's statement continued:

"Trump has bullied the press when they report on him. He has promoted the reporting of fake and outright false information. He imposed gags on federal employees in the earliest days of his administration. He has avoided disclosing his tax records, and he has avoided releasing information about his conflicts of interest. The only reasonable conclusion is to believe the Trump administration has many things it is trying to hide."

The Trump White House logs will be kept under wraps until five years after President Donald Trump leaves office.

The Obama administration had fought to protect some portions of its own White House logs, or circumvent the need to use them, but ultimately released six million of the records.

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