White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday invoked President Biden‘s dead wife and child in an unusual move to sidestep questions about why the administration won’t release visitor logs from the president’s Delaware residences.
“Well, the president goes to Delaware because it’s his home. It’s also where his son and former wife are buried and it’s a place that is close to his heart,” Ms. Psaki said during the daily press briefing. “A lot of presidents go visit their home when they are president.”
Mr. Biden‘s first wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car crash in December 1972 shortly after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. His son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015.
All three are buried at a cemetery on the grounds of a Catholic church in Delaware.
The connection between Mr. Biden‘s deceased family members and the White House refusing to release visitor logs for his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach is unclear.
Mr. Biden has spent more than 28% of his presidency in Delaware, according to data compiled by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group.
Despite having pledged to build the most transparent administration in history, Mr. Biden has balked at releasing the visitor logs to his Delaware homes.
In August, Ms. Psaki said the White House would not make the logs public, raising concerns among public advocacy groups that visitors may be trying to influence the president.
“I can confirm we are not going to be providing information about the comings and goings of the president’s grandchildren or children,” she told reporters.
Under a 2013 ruling written by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who wrote while serving as a federal judge, Secret Service visitor logs are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
The administration in May partially released the White House visitor logs, saying the move was “making good on President Biden‘s commitment to restore integrity, transparency, and trust in government.”
The Trump administration frequently invoked Mr. Garland’s decision to withhold White House visitor logs. At the time, the administration said the logs raise “national security risks and privacy concerns” among the hundreds of White House visitors annually.