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The Longer Trump Is In Office The More Public Information Keeps Disappearing

President Donald Trump made some vague grumblings about transparency while on the campaign trail. He was all for transparency when it came to his predecessors and opponents, but when it came to himself, not so much. He even broke with long-time tradition and refused to release his tax returns during his campaign, and upon taking office. It seems that the Trump administration continues to loathe transparency; public data is disappearing from the government website in droves.

Since the Trump administration took over, some 40,000 sets of data have been removed from data.gov, according to the Washington Post. The data that is disappearing appears to be that which is not favorable to the current president's new policies.

Former President Barack Obama attempted to expand transparency by using the internet to offer citizens access to government data as much as possible. The Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration the Department of Agriculture had uploaded a number of data sets involving scientific findings on climate change, animal abuse, workplace violations, and energy efficiency. Under Trump, much of this information has just vanished and the public can no longer access it.

In addition to the disappearing data on data.gov, White House records disappearing under the current POTUS. The White House visitor logs have been dispensed with, meaning that the public no longer has a record of who is visiting the president and his advisors. Ethics waivers once offered information about government appointees who were once lobbyists.

Some fear the disappearing information is all part of a strategic plan so that the Executive Branch of government can avoid scrutiny and regulation.

“The Trump administration seems determined to utilize a larger version of Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility to cover the entire administration,” Norman Eisen, special counsel to former President Obama on issues of ethics and government reform. He argues that the changes continue to make it difficult for citizens to hold the federal government accountable.

Knowledge is power, after all. What people don't know can't hurt Trump.

The White House insists that no vital information is being withheld illegally, but made it clear that the Trump administration is only going to release what he has to release. “The President has made a commitment that his administration will absolutely follow the law and disclose any information it is required to disclose,” said a White House spokesperson to the Washington Post.

Source: IJR
Photo: TheWhiteHouse/Flickr

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