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Trump under fire for tweet about jobs report

04 June 2018

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.

Trump was foreshadowing a glowing unemployment report that showed the jobless rate dipped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

The Trump administration is examining ways USA industries could hire more immigrant workers on a temporary basis, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday, as data showed the United States unemployment rate at an 18-year low.

Though Trump's tweet drew sharp criticism, Kudlow defended it as appropriate.

The jobs report episode follows 16 months of a presidency in which Trump has cast aside traditions with such frequency that practices long considered taboo are now routine, even as critics say Trump is gambling with some of the nation's most sensitive information. Bloomberg News data also showed that the value of the US dollar moved sharply higher after the Twitter post compared with previous trades the mornings jobs data are released.

Spicer said at the time that his understanding of the rule was that it was created to avoid affecting the stock market and noted that he was only tweeting the headline numbers that news organizations around the world already had reported.

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This is Real Madrid we're talking about though so of course, it wouldn't really be a surprise to see anyone turn up in that hotseat.

"That tweet suggested this was going to be a strong number and the [10-year] yield jumped", Quincy Crosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Post. A top White House official emphasized that Trump didn't reveal any of the numbers.

As CNBC reported, as politicians nationwide ramp up their campaign efforts ahead of November's midterm election no issue "is more important than the perennial issue of employment". They said we don't make things in America anymore, because the Chinese will do it at slave labor rates.

Because the president would be briefed on the numbers ahead of time, his decision to promote the announcement gave rise to accusations of "market manipulation". "As has been said so many times by the president's supporters as well as his critics, this is another case where it would be better for President Trump would be wise to spend his time doing something other than tweeting".

Any early release of the information could, therefore, affect markets. Most jobs reports are released on the first Friday of each month. 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.

That is because the jobs report is viewed as one of the most important indicators of the United States economy and often moves markets. "It's not the first norm he's breached; I think I've lost count of how many norms he's ignored or violated". "Before Twitter, the fixed-income desks across Wall Street often used snap press conferences in the Rose Garden on NFP Fridays as a sign of whether or not the jobs number would beat estimates".

Tony Fratto, a Treasury Department official who worked in George W. Bush's administration, said that while not illegal, Trump's tease could be deemed inappropriate because "you want market participants to get their data from their government in predictable, official ways, not haphazard ones". And Lawrence Summers, who served as treasury secretary for President Bill Clinton, tweeted if during the Clinton or Obama administrations information had been similarly conveyed "it would have been a major scandal - with all sorts of investigations following on".

Trump under fire for tweet about jobs report