Trump's tweet about jobs report raises questions

Trump flouts federal rule with tweet touting job numbers

A Friday morning tweet from President Donald Trump previewing the May jobs report is raising alarm bells among some economists and former government employees as to whether he may have violated longstanding government protocol.

The jobs report proved strong and beat expectations, revealing that the USA economy added 223,000 jobs in May.

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning", Trump tweeted - a full 69 minutes before the Labor Department released its jobs report.

But Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that the president didn't violate the directive because he only said he was awaiting the release of the numbers "like everyone else".

President Donald Trump tweeted early on Friday that he was "looking forward" to the May jobs report, which he had access to the night before.

In the span of time between when Trump posted his tweet and when the jobs report was released, USA treasury yields shot up.

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"He chose to tweet", Kudlow said, downplaying the matter. "There wasn't a reaction beyond the markets' reactions to other (Trump) tweets", he said. That means Trump had detailed knowledge of the specifics of the jobs report, knowing that it would be strong and better than expected.

When contacted by CNBC for comment on the controversy, the White House argued that it was OK for Trump to push the job numbers since "he didn't put the numbers out". He tweeted "If during the Clinton or Obama Administrations there had been a statement from POTUS or anyone senior official in the morning before the Employment Report it would have been a major scandal-with all sorts of investigations following on".

"We're concerned that these actions are actually not conducive to helping our economy, they actually are destructive, and that is consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin", Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at a news conference after the meeting ended in the Canadian mountain resort town of Whistler, British Columbia.

"I think trade can dovetail into this in a positive way if the president is able to challenge these trading practices and allow Americans to export freely around the world", Mr. Kudlow said.

Any early release of the information could, therefore, affect markets.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the jobs report on the first Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m.

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But the same rule also says they employees shouldn't comment publicly on the data until at least an hour after release - a regulation Trump has routinely flouted on social media.

"We've reached yet one more historic milestone with 3.8 percent unemployment, just announced", Trump said later Friday at a Coast Guard ceremony.

The former chairman of the council of economic advisers said that Trump broke the law.

This is a big deal because the jobs report, also referred to as the nonfarm payrolls (NFP) report, is one of a handful of reports with the power to move global financial markets.

"This certainly was a no-no", Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, said in a tweet. Asked if he'll share it with Trump ahead of time again, Kudlow responded, "I have no idea".

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