On Friday, President Donald Trump spoke with press officials in regard to reiterating his claim that he is the most transparent president in the history of the United States. President Trump said this before heading out to a planned trip to Japan.
President Trump said to the press that he was and is the most transparent President in history, citing the number of interviews and documents that special counsel Robert Mueller and his team observed during the Mueller Report.
It is a difficult task in terms of judging levels of transparency for past presidents. There have been many reports that claim the opposite, in that President Trump has made numerous attempts to hide personal information from the public. In addition, President Trump has been cited for not cooperating fully with the Mueller investigation.
Examples of President Trump hiding information from the public has been his refusal to release his tax returns, battling congressional subpoenas regarding his financial information and refusing to answer questions in person regarding the Mueller Report.
President Trump broke decades of precedent when he decided to hide his tax returns from the public. Currently, President Trump is attempting to block subpoenas from the House to obtain his financial information.
President Trump denied requests to be interviewed by Mueller’s team. Alternatively, President Trump submitted written answers to questions from the team for Mueller. President Trump chose to answer only questions if they pertained to his time prior to taking the presidency. This means that President Trump denied answering questions about possible obstruction of justice during his presidency. Mueller’s team found his answers incomplete and not precise and requested multiple times for President Trump to do an in-person interview, which he denied on all attempts.
Recently, President Trump has told White House counsel Don McGahn to ignore a subpoena that instructs him to testify before the Congress.
Despite the lack of transparency regarding the Mueller Report, the Trump campaign did provide special counsel with more than 1.4 million pages of documents, according to President Trump’s legal team. Additionally, the White House and President Trump did not block attempts for Mueller to interview over two dozen individuals in the Trump Administration. These interviews actually provided significant information regarding the claims of obstruction of justice.
To further support his transparency claim, President Trump claimed that he gave five hundred witnesses to the team of Mueller. This claim was found to not be accurate by CNN.
Mueller interviewed five hundred witnesses, but President Trump was allowed to control testimony of the White House aides only. More than two dozen officials in the Trump Administration willingly took part in interviews regarding the Mueller Report. Many of those interviews created the foundation regarding the obstruction of justice inquiry.
Federal Investigators spoke to hundreds of individuals that President Trump had no control over. An example of this was the Mueller team speaking with Russian banker Petr Aven and conservative author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.
According to many, even light scrutiny reveals that President Trump is not the most transparent president in history.