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Pete Buttigieg to allow access to closed-door fundraisers

Pete Buttigieg surges in latest CNN poll

Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign announced his closed-door fundraisers will be open to the press starting Tuesday, and his campaign also said it would release a list of bundlers this week. The announcement comes as the South Bend mayor faces increasing pressure to disclose more about his fundraising.

"In a continued commitment to transparency, we are announcing today that our campaign will open fundraisers to reporters, and will release the names of people raising money for our campaign," campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said in a statement. "Fundraising events with Pete will be open to press beginning tomorrow, and a list of people raising money for the campaign will be released within the week."

Since the beginning of his campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign campaign has allowed a pool reporter access to his big-donor fundraisers. And California Senator Kamala Harris, before her exit from the race, also offered some transparency into her fundraising, releasing a list of over 130 bundlers earlier this year.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has been criticizing Buttigieg for not opening up his fundraisers.

"The mayor should be releasing who's on his finance committee, who are the bundlers who are raising big money for him, who he gives titles to and made promises to," Warren said at an event in Boston last week. "He should open up the doors so the press can follow the promises he's making in these big dollar fundraisers."

In April, Buttigieg's campaign released a list of his bundlers but has not done so again in several months.

Recently, Buttigieg and Warren have been slamming each other for insufficient transparency regarding their past work. Before Thanksgiving, Buttigieg called on Warren to release her tax returns from her work in the private sector. This past weekend, Warren disclosed her income —$1.9 million — from her legal work over a 30-year period.

"Our campaign strives to be the most transparent in the field," Schmuhl said in the statement.

At a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, this weekend, Buttigieg told CBS News said that if the campaign moved to open its fundraisers, it would do it the "right way."

On his bus tours and at campaign stops this fall, when asked if he would allow pool reporters in his closed-door fundraisers, Buttigieg referred the questions to staff.

Buttigieg has also faced increased pressure to disclose his list of clients from when he worked at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm. Buttigieg is bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prevents him from doing so. On Friday, Buttigieg called on his former employer to release him from the NDA and he also provided a timeline of his work and the projects he worked on at the company.

Sarah Ewall-Wice contributed to this report.

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