New White House spokesman Josh Earnest knows his job well. He’s paid to be a professional liar and lying is exactly what he does. And that’s exactly what he did when he was asked about Obama’s promise to be the “most transparent administration in history.”
President Obama is “absolutely” the most transparent president in history, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday after the White House received a letter from signed by a dozen top journalists’ groups complaining about the administration’s policies toward the media.
“There are a number of steps that we’ve taken to give people greater insight into what’s happening at the White House,” Earnest said in an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Well that isn’t a lie, it’s just pablum. Here’s the lie:
Earnest said he is “definitely committed” to helping “the president live up to his commitment to be the most transparent president in history.”
Earnest noted that previous administrations had “gone to the Supreme Court” to prevent the release of White House visitor information, but that the Obama administration “releases it voluntarily on the Internet on a quarterly basis.”
“Reporters for years clamored to get access to fundraisers the president hosted or attended that were hosted in private homes,” Earnest continued. “Reporters now have access to those when this president goes to a private home.”
That’s the lie. The Obama administration did, in fact, go to court to prevent access to White House visitor logs. They released partial visitor logs that did not include the information that the groups filing those suits were seeking, but still appealed a federal court ruling that required them to release more. And they won, the appeals court ruled that the logs did not have to be released. So yes, Obama did fight strongly against any legal requirement to release any information in regard to visitor logs.
And that isn’t even mentioning the ramping up of whistleblower prosecutions, the use of the State Secrets Privilege and standing challenges to prevent any possibility of justice for the victims of illegal surveillance and torture. And the refusal to release even legal justifications for its abuses of executive power. And all the other examples mentioned in the letter that Earnest was responding to from reporters who say the administration has been terrible on transparency.
He’s gonna do well in this job. He lies well.