On Friday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and said that he “is looking forward to seeing the employment numbers.” His tweet came in an hour before the jobs report was officially released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The president’s tweet appeared to be a tease of strong job numbers.
Job creation has always been the key talking point for the Trump administration. The president’s tweet, which came ahead of the official release of the report, indicated that the numbers were definitely in his favor.
Some legal experts believe that Trump, through this tweet, may have broken the protocol. Citing abuse of presidential power, they said that his tweet raised possible insider trading concerns.
According to a recent report by Politico, the president received the jobs report on Thursday night on Air Force One.
As per the age-old practice, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the jobs report on the first Friday of every month. The presidents and other federal officials are briefed on the numbers one day prior to the release of the report.
When Trump tweeted about the jobs report, it was evident that he was optimistic about the numbers. When the report was officially released, the jobs market showed a strong growth. About 223,000 jobs were created in May, which is a significant achievement for the Trump administration. That was higher than the growth of 188,000 positions that economists had expected. The report also showed that the unemployment rate dipped to 3.8 percent—the lowest in 18 years.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that he told the president about the report on Thursday night, but denied that his tweet was problematic.
“He chose to tweet, his tweet basically said like everybody else we await the job numbers. I don’t think he gave anything away incidentally. I think it’s according to the routine.” Kudlow said on CNBC.
Former chairman for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman disagreed. He told ABC News that the Obama administration “absolutely interpreted [the Labor Department rule] as applying” to the president himself.
“Regardless, rule or not, stating the jobs numbers in advance is crazy,” Furman said. “And how sure are we that he only tells the public and not his friends when he talks to them late at night?”
Meanwhile, White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president’s tweet was appropriate because “he didn’t put the numbers out.”