White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday she knew of no plans to release visitor logs in response to an explosive book from a journalist claiming broad access.
"I don't anticipate any changes to that policy at this point," Sanders said at the daily White House briefing.
Sanders told reporters that those records indicate author Michael Wolff primarily spoke with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon or at his request during his visits last year to the West Wing.
In lieu of publicly searchable visitor logs, Sanders described what White House staff had found.
"So far, from what I can tell of the roughly just over a dozen interactions that he had with officials at the White House, I think close to 95 percent were all done so at the request of Mr. Bannon," Sanders said
In response to a follow-up question, she said other White House officials did not appear to be actively aiding Wolff's reporting. "Any that did so far, as far as we can tell, did so at the request of Mr. Bannon," she said.
Wolff's forthcoming book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" dominated news coverage after excerpts were published, including incendiary quotes from Bannon about Donald Trump Jr.
Trump denounced Bannon in an afternoon statement, saying he "spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was."
Sanders said Wolff never had a sit-down interview with Trump as president but did have a single phone call lasting 5-7 minutes.
Wolff claimed in a book expert that he "conducted conversations and interviews over a period of 18 months with the president, most members of his senior staff, and many people to whom they in turn spoke."
Journalists on Twitter noted seeing Wolff visit the White House, and not as a standard journalist.
"[H]e walked directly into the West Wing, not through the press briefing room," USA Today journalist Gregory Korte wrote. This is something most journalists do not do.
"The several times I saw Wolff at the White House, he was cleared-in with a blue 'appointment' badge allowing West Wing access, rather than a gray "press" badge," recalled Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller.
The Trump administration ended the Obama White House's policy of partially releasing White House visitor logs, saying heavily redacted logs gave a false impression of transparency.
Trump's decision to cease regular release of logs was made possible by a 2013 federal appeals court ruling authored by Judge Merrick Garland, who agreed with then-President Barack Obama that disclosure is not legally required by the Freedom of Information Act.
At least two lawsuits currently are seeking a mandatory release of White House visitor logs.