Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Trump raises eyebrows by tweeting about sensitive jobs report

AFP  Getty Images AFP Getty Images
Kenneth Drake | 04 June, 2018, 07:59

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning", he tweeted at 7:21 a.m. ET.

As noted by The New York Times, the White House Office of Management and Budget has a rule requiring officials to protect all prerelease information they may be privy to.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves in the opposite direction of price, was at 2.885% at the time of Trump's tweet, The yield quickly moved up to 2.895% after the tweet, and climbed as high as 2.922 after the official release of the jobs report.

Trump supporters say the president's economic plan and hard-bargaining with other countries is paying dividends for USA workers.

More good news for the American economy: New jobs numbers show the unemployment rate is now down to 3.8 percent, the lowest it's been in 18 years.

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. "It's not classified information, but it is market sensitive". Specifically, Trump shared details of an Islamic State terrorist threat, which were believed to have been provided by Israel, a key US ally.

Industrial production recorded its third straight month of gains, while more than three out of four manufacturers reported hiring more workers and investing more in plants and equipment.

Trudeau, in an interview aired on Sunday by NBC's "Meet the Press", said it was "insulting" to hear the US claim that Canadian steel and aluminum posed a national security threat.

And late past year, responding to criticism that he had been silent about the deaths of four U.S. Special Forces members in Niger, the president referred the 2010 death of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's son in Afghanistan, publicly revealing what Kelly had shared privately with him - that then-President Barack Obama did not call Kelly after his son's death. Employers added 223,000 jobs in the month, more than more economists were forecasting.

"No president has fought the war on poverty better than Donald J. Trump", Mr. Navarro said on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures". "It's closely held and misuse of it leads to dismissal".

Kudlow said that, as is custom, the Labor Department gave the jobs report to Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, on Thursday. If I were still working in the White House, I would have received the numbers around 1 p.m. "No one revealed any numbers".


"If he was sending a message that it was a good number, when there is not a good number, we will now know it because he won't tweet", said Kaltbaum.

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

The answer to this question is clearly that we can not be sure that this hasn't or wouldn't happen thanks to the fact that this President has already violated almost every other norm that applied in the past.

Washington has long tried to prevent market-moving data like the employment numbers from being prematurely released. "But secondly, and fundamentally, its really important that government statistics are perceived as being nonpartisan, nonpolitical data".

The Trump administration last week opened up another 15,000 H-2B visas to help USA employers hire temporary non-agricultural workers in an effort to help fill seasonal jobs during the busy upcoming summer tourist season. "He jumped over it". But Friday's jobs report suggests that they are taking chances with pockets of the unemployed and underemployed whom they had previously ignored.

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, said he anxious the decision would introduce instability into markets and appear to politicize statistics.

Trump and his administration have run afoul of the rule before, but only after the data was released.

Josh Wright, a former Federal Reserve staffer who is now the chief economist at the recruiting-software firm iCims, called the tweet "a significant violation of prior norms, at the least".

Trump, like all presidents, got briefed on the jobs figures Thursday evening.

Given that Trump didn't report exact numbers, it's probable that he didn't technically violate the rule in question, but he certainly came close to doing so, and it raises concerns about the future and what impact this breach of protocol will have in the future.

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