Wouldn't you like to know
The Trump administration, it seems, does not want you to know who has been palling around with President Trump or his family at Mar-a-Lago. That's one way to interpret a recent move by the Justice Department, which on Friday refused to release the full list of names of people who visited the president at his Florida resort between January 20 and March 8 of this year, despite being ordered to do so by a federal court, The New York Times reports.
The order was issued back in July. Since his inauguration, the president has spent 25 days at his "winter White House" in Palm Beach, Florida, where membership costs $200,000 and frequent guests include financiers and real estate developers. The Department of Justice did release a few names, 22 to be exact, all of which were foreign dignitaries and staffers related to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited the resort in February. The rest will remain a mystery, at least for now.
"The government believes that presidential schedule information is not subject to FOIA [Freedom of Information Act]," Chad A. Readler, acting assistant attorney general, wrote. Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said this was "spitting in the eye of transparency. We will be fighting this in court."