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Highlights From RNC Conference Call on the White House's Failed Promise on Transparency

- August 1, 2012

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:

"Well, we got more news today that the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in history isn't transparent at all. They've been using the Caribou Coffee shop across the street from the White House as an Executive Branch annex to hold secretive meetings with lobbyists and political cronies. So these newly uncovered emails showed one White House staffer explicitly asking an industry insider to meet him at Caribou so that he wouldn't have to appear on the White House visitor logs. The White House doesn't want the American people to know who they're meeting with on a day to day basis. They've had hundreds of meetings at Caribou, so we have no way of knowing what insider deals they're cutting with lobbyists, with taxpayer money.

"We also have records showing that former Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who by the way is obviously the campaign manager for Barack Obama, was using his personal email account to conduct official government business during the ObamaCare negotiations, and in one particular email he wrote to a lobbyist at PhRMA, 'I'll roll Pelosi to get the 4 billion.' These are stunning revelations...

"This supposedly transparent administration has spent the last three and a half years actively trying to cover up their own ethical lapses. They've tried to hide from the GSA scandal, Fast and Furious, politically motivated intelligence leaks, and stimulus-funded crony capitalism, like Solyndra. It's time for a full-scale investigation. President Obama must be held accountable to the American people, and he must be held to the standards that he set for himself. The standards of transparency and ethical behavior. If anything, of all the issues here today, I want to highlight the Obama hypocrisy-- the fact that he said that he was going to be different than everybody else, that he was going to be the most transparent guy that ever was President of the United States, and here we go again. The Obama White House is actively deceiving the American people, and they're doing it over a Caribou latte."

U.S. Congressman Cliff Stearns (FL-6):

"Obviously, he mentioned that the administration of the president talked about having the most open and transparent administration in history but through the course of the investigation, at least the Committee of Oversight and Investigation which I chair, has found that the White House, really has failed to live up to this president's lofty rhetoric.

"In fact, I think a good example of this, when the Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked for some records, the Obama administration said 'okay, we'll give you some records voluntarily, we'll give you some visitors logs from 2009' but prior to this time the administration denied Freedom of Information Act requests for the same White House logs and defended non disclosure of the logs in the federal court. So, we have the administration in federal courts and also denying the Freedom of Information requests. I mean, that's hard to believe when you think the President of the United States has made these lofty claims in that he is on record in the federal courts trying to deny this transparency and he finally negotiates voluntarily to give over. When you volunteer, I mean, does that mean you have to give them all or just what you think? Where does it turn out that you're mandated to do it? I think as I pointed out, some of these emails are alarming..."

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