Thursday, 16 August, 2018

President Trump's early jobs tweet leads to criticism from Obama officials

Trump appears to comment on jobs report before its official release Trump flouts federal rule with tweet touting job numbers | TheHill
Lindsey Cook | 04 June, 2018, 08:00

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning", Trump tweeted at 7:21 a.m. The rule was put in place in 1985 and reads: "Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time".

There have been controversies in the past when federal officials have made more innocuous comments about the general state of the labor market in the hours ahead of the report, without referring to the jobs report itself, said William Rodgers, who served as the chief economist of the Labor Department.

Based on its potential to move financial markets, the jobs report is held under a strict embargo until its official release time.

Their statement came as Mr Trump's economic adviser admitted that placing duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium from Canada, Mexico and the European Union could jeopardise the United States economy. Investors eagerly await the figures, which are closely guarded. Eastern time moves markets.

On Wall Street, where the 8:30 a.m. release on Jobs Friday is a major event for the markets each month, traders disagreed on whether the tweet actually moved prices, which fluctuate constantly and make it hard to determine if any single event pushed them in one direction or another.

One hour and nine minutes later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 223,000 jobs were created in May, beating expectations, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent.

A CNN political commentator reminded his followers that this is not the first time that President Donald Trump violated the directive.

There's a reason presidents and policy makers carefully avoid saying a single word about important economic numbers before they're officially released.

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President Donald Trump's top economics adviser acknowledged Sunday the trade dispute with USA allies could jeopardize the booming American economy but dismissed criticism of the administration's stance as overblown. The information is protected so carefully that the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers receives it only the afternoon or evening before its release.

The White House's Council of Economic Advisers briefs the president on the jobs numbers the afternoon before they are released.

"Of course he knew", Kudlow said in an interview Friday.

"I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally. I think it's according to the routine".

Kudlow said Friday that Trump didnt breach this prohibition because he didnt reveal the precise numbers in the jobs report, only telling people on Twitter that he was "looking forward" to its release.

Senior White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 1, 2018. The Xinhua report came after Mr Ross met Chinese vice premier Liu He for talks that Mr Ross called "friendly and frank, and covered some useful topics about specific export items". "He chose to tweet".

"This certainly was a no-no", tweeted Ari Fleisher, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush.

"If not, you end up with some people getting information ahead of other people", Fratto continued. "It's not classified information, but it is market sensitive".

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