On Wednesday, the White House slammed the President-elect’s incoming administration for its lack of transparency, urging release of more information to rebut claims that it claims are false about ties to Russia.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the current White House took that approach when it was confronted with false allegations that the President was not born on U.S. soil, charges that Trump, himself, championed for years, even after Obama produced his long form birth certificate.
“This president has been in a situation in which he has been criticized in an utterly false and baseless way. And I’m of course, referring to the President’s birthplace.”
“There were a wide variety of the president’s critics who were suggesting and propagating conspiracy theories that somehow the president was not born in the United States,” Earnest told reporters.
He noted that the Obama administration released a hard copy of Obama’s long form birth certificate in 2011. “All of you could look at that piece of paper and verify for yourself to be convinced that the charges against the President — that were lobbed against the President — were false,” the Press Secretary said.
“The incoming administration has chosen a different approach,” he added, “They’ve not been transparent.”
During his first news conference since the election, Trump angrily dismissed reports that top U.S. officials are looking into an unsubstantiated dossier alleging his campaign officials were in touch with Moscow about how to defeat Hillary Clinton.
He also tweeted likening the intelligence leaks to Nazi Germany, and then, doubled down on that claim during his press conference.
“It’s all fake news, it’s phony stuff, it didn’t happen and it was gotten by opponents of ours and many of the other people, a group of opponents that got together, sick people,” Trump said.
Earnest said that Trump could dispel those rumors, and the issues relating to his conflicts of interest by taking steps such as releasing his tax returns and other internal documents. “There’s ample evidence they could marshal to make public to refute those claims, those accusations they say are baseless, but refuse to do so,” he said. “That kind of secrecy only serves to sow public doubt.”