White House spokesman Josh Earnest asserted Tuesday that President Obama led the "most transparent White House in history," despite ongoing complaints that Obama has presided over an administration that routinely refuses to release information sought after by reporters.
Earnest was responding to a column that said if Hillary Clinton were elected, "her administration would continue the tradition of being still more secretive than the one before it; the Obama White House has achieved just that with its abysmal record on fulfilling Freedom of Information Act requests and its record of prosecuting whistle-blowers who have shared national security information with the press."
Earnest rejected that by saying, Obama has "routinely and proactively releasing the name, date and time of nearly every White House visitor." He also said Obama invites reporters to cover all of his events, and has released reams of data under its data.gov website.
"If journalists don't acknowledge steps that the Obama administration has taken to strengthen transparency, then who will?" Earnest asked.
But Earnest's claim was roundly mocked on social media by transparency advocates. The @whpresscorps Twitter feed listed several of the outstanding transparency problems the Obama administration has had, including the years-long process of finally getting access to Hillary Clinton's emails, among other documents.
Report: Obama denied a record 77% of FOIA requests https://t.co/xLxWkNRQ9b https://t.co/y2GhPimeoa— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) August 31, 2016
Report: Obama Administration Worse than Ever on Freedom of Information Requests https://t.co/uLOIVQY2vG https://t.co/y2GhPimeoa— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) August 31, 2016
The feed also cited past reports from journalists noting that transparency has never been worse under the Obama administration.
FLASHBACK: ‘Obama administration is far worse than the Bush administration’ on transparency https://t.co/4frmPoZfAb https://t.co/y2GhPimeoa— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) August 31, 2016
.@ron_fournier: Obama Admin Has Probably Been The Least Transparent In Nation's History https://t.co/EottEkyB4Y https://t.co/y2GhPimeoa— WhiteHousePressCorps (@whpresscorps) August 31, 2016