Press Secretary: Obama 'Absolutely' Most Transparent President

Image: Press Secretary: Obama 'Absolutely' Most Transparent President White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 07:08 AM

By Elliot Jager

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told CNN the Obama administration is the most transparent presidency in American history.

"I think the president's record of transparency stands up to that of any of his predecessors," he said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

The White House has been criticized for being slow to offer information and for sometimes disseminating misinformation. Contrary to the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, say critics, the administration has prosecuted government workers for talking to the press, according to Fox News.

The new press secretary, who took over in June, says that is not the case, insisting the Obama White House is "absolutely, absolutely" the most transparent. It routinely releases financial information about staffers, posts the White House guest log on the Internet, and invites reporters to attend fundraisers in private homes, practices resisted by previous administrations, Earnest said.

Asked about written complaints from journalists and their advocates about having a hard time obtaining information from federal agencies, Earnest said it was only natural that reporters were engaged in an adversarial relationship with government.

"They're all journalists," he said. "The day that they sort of sit back and say, you know, we don't need to write a letter, the White House is telling us everything that they're supposed to, is the day that they're no longer doing their jobs."

Journalists have also complained that photographers have been banned from covering presidential events labeled as private. Among these was a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a meeting with African-American clergy, Politico reported.

The head of the White House Correspondents Association, Steve Thomma of McClatchy newspapers, said: "We have no problem with the White House sending out [official government photos and videos of such events]. But we'd also like to be in the room," Fox News reported.

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