Barack Obama

But Obama has attended three super PAC events in the past week. | AP Photo

Politico

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE and JOSH GERSTEIN | 7/23/14 9:02 PM EDT Updated: 7/24/14 12:00 AM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO — President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn’t invited.

Tuesday, the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

Wednesday morning, when he met with big donors for the House Majority PAC at the Four Seasons hotel in downtown San Francisco, they weren’t even told what room or floor he was on.

“We think these fundraisers ought to be open to at least some scrutiny, because the president’s participation in them is fundamentally public in nature,” said Christi Parsons, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “Denying access to him in that setting undermines the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing. It’s of special concern as these events and the donors they attract become more influential in the political process.”

Despite constant complaints from the press corps and promises from White House officials, access to the president continues to be limited. The constantly repeated line that they’re running the “most transparent administration in history” tends to prompt snickers. Halfway through Obama’s West Coast swing, it’s tipping toward outrage.

Tuesday morning, the WHCA complained after Obama celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing by hosting Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong’s widow in the Oval Office and allowing just a brief glimpse by a few select photographers.

Asked why the president couldn’t accommodate a little more open coverage, given the nature of the event, White House press secretary Josh Earnest demurred.

“Not this time,” he said.

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