White House Posts Lists of Lobbyists to Agencies After Lawsuit

(Bloomberg) -- The White House has published visitor logs for a group of key federal agencies, providing a first glimpse into the lobbyists and special-interest groups meeting with Trump administration officials.

The lists were posted late Tuesday as part of a settlement between the administration and Public Citizen, a watchdog group that sued the government for release of the logs. The lists include visitors to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Council on Environmental Quality. Information about guests visiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy will post soon.

Visitors include a string of outside advocates, including Lee Janger of the Alliance for Vehicle Efficiency, Laurie Holmes of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, and Hudson Hollister, a co-founder of the Data Coalition, an industry group that advocates for more open data in government.

Researchers from conservative think tanks including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation were also among those holding meetings with administration officials.

Other records show the routine goings-on of the White House, with staffers inviting family members in for a tour of the West Wing or to use the bowling alley in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

But the records released this week - which only cover visits in February of this year - do not include individuals invited to the White House by those who work closest to President Donald Trump. The administration discontinued a practice, begun during the former President Barack Obama’s tenure, of posting visitor logs generated by those working in the Executive Office of the President, saying that it created national security and privacy risks.

In total, the first wave of names produced by the Trump administration included around 2,750 entries, with just fewer than 500 of those names redacted under a personal privacy exemption.

"The public now can see who is visiting these four agencies, as they should have been able to see all along,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a statement. “Now we’ll at least have a window into the corporate and ideological lobbyists who are driving Trump administration policy.”

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