‘Transparent’ President Throws Secret Party with Prince, Stevie Wonder & Undisclosed Lobbyists

US President Barack Obama makes a toast during a State Dinner at the White House February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Obamas hosted Hollande for a State Dinner during the second day of the French President's three-day visit to the United States. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)


Does the President have the right to throw a party at the White House and not disclose the guest list?

That’s the question that came up Monday during the White House press briefing as reporters grilled Press Secretary Josh Earnest on a function that apparently included a live performance from recording stars Prince and Stevie Wonder.

The only reason the public found out about the event was because one of the guests, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, blabbed about it on Twitter:


When questioned about the event, Earnest refused to disclose any details, including the guest list, claiming:

“…the president and first lady are going to reserve the right to host private parties at the White House, and they did it on their own dime.”

Earnest denied that the event had anything to do with President Barack Obama’s stance on “transparency.”

Members of the White House press corps took to Twitter to react to the claim:




The Associated Press confirms that the guest list included lobbyists and corporate executives. This could raise the stakes on whether the White House is ultimately forced to reveal details about the invitation list.

After all, President Obama stressed his commitment to transparency when he ran for office in 2008. One of his transparency rules included disclosing when lobbyists had meetings in the White House so the public could see if their government was for sale.

Despite that promise, there have been multiple holes in the White House visitor logs along with many reports of White House staffers having meetings with lobbyists off-site for the sole purpose of avoiding the transparency rules.