Live

Watch CBSN Live

William Ayers Visited White House – No, Not That One

(AP Photo/ABC)
The Obama administration has released a preliminary list of White House visitors as part of its promise to release to the public a record of people who came to the White House as well as "when they came, how long they were here, and who they met with."

The list, which is here, includes the names "William Ayers" and "Jeremiah Wright." But the White House says they aren't the Ayers and Wright that are known to the public.

"A lot of people visit the White House, up to 100,000 each month, with many of those folks coming to tour the buildings," White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement. "Given this large amount of data, the records we are publishing today include a few 'false positives' – names that make you think of a well-known person, but are actually someone else."

"In September, requests were submitted for the names of some famous or controversial figures (for example Michael Jordan, William Ayers, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Kelly ("R. Kelly"), and Malik Shabazz)," he continued. "The well-known individuals with those names never actually came to the White House. Nevertheless, we were asked for those names and so we have included records for those individuals who were here and share the same names."

Among the names on the list that appear to not be "false positives" are Bill Gates and George Clooney.

The White House told CBS News that it has social security number records that show that the Ayers who visited and the controversial William Ayers whose connections to Mr. Obama were brought up several times during the campaign last year are not one in the same.

It's unclear why the White House is including the names of people who went on White House tours with their listing of those who have come to the White House on official business. It may be news to those who have gone on the tours that a record of their visit will be released to the public.

The White House announced in September that it would release the records of visitors from the previous 90-120 days every month, "aside from a small group of appointments that cannot be disclosed because of national security imperatives or their necessarily confidential nature (such as a visit by a possible Supreme Court nominee)."

Those releases begin in December. The White House had also said it would release information about visitors prior to the beginning of the disclosure program in response to specific requests. This release is in response to such requests, 110 of which the White House says it has processed. It covers specific requests about visitors between January 20, 2009 to July 31, 2009.