In a shocking lack of transparency that could have lasting negative impact, the Trump administration has refused a Freedom of Information Act request by NBC News for a log of participants at the annual Easter Egg Roll.
“President Obama had the most transparent administration in history,” said an NBC op-ed on Monday. “When we asked for the logs from Barack’s first Egg Roll in 2009, we had an Excel spreadsheet within 30 minutes.”
The Egg Roll visitor logs are created by the Secret Service and maintained by the Secret Service, and thus “are not agency records subject to the FOIA,” the Trump administration told NBC.
Trump is using the same arguments made by the Bush administration to deny the request; arguments that, as NBC pointed out in 2009, “were rejected twice by a federal judge.”
A short history lesson tells us why this linkage to the disastrous Bush years could be a harbinger of things to come.
According to Recreation.gov, “Members of Congress grew tired of the growing crowds and passed an Act of Congress which prohibited egg rolling on the Capitol grounds. The event was moved to the White House in 1878 after President Hayes was approached by young children to use his backyard to roll eggs. Nearly every Easter since, the White House has invited young children to roll eggs on the White House lawn.”
The only other time congressional approval tanked so badly was when the economy collapsed during the last years of the George W. Bush administration.
Republicans should take note.