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Trump's tweet about jobs report raises questions

04 June 2018

The rule states: "All employees of the Executive Branch who receive pre release distribution of information and data estimates as authorized above are responsible for assuring that there is no release prior to the official release time".

Jason Furman, who served as CEA chairman during the Obama administration, said that if President Obama had done this, "I would go in and tell him how serious it was and that he was jeopardizing his access to the data".

Trump, like past presidents, is given a preview of the sensitive report before its official release, but a 1985 directive issued by the Reagan administration requires that the executive branch not comment on the information until an hour after it is made public.

Former officials from the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations said Trump's tweet violated the directive.

"I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally", Kudlow added.

The director of the White House National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, briefed Trump on the data on Thursday. There was a noticeable reaction in some markets, with the dollar climbing in the wake of the tweet as benchmark Treasury yields extended their advance to new highs for the day. Friday's tweet, however, was the first time he's ever spoken about the job's report before it was released. "I think it's according to routine".

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"They're treated like state secrets", Alan Krueger, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio before the employment report came out.

"No president has fought the war on poverty better than Donald J. Trump", Mr. Navarro said on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures".

Trump has tried to tie the success of his presidency to the success of the economy. There are government procedures for officials who handle undisclosed numbers that require a delay of commenting until one hour after they're released. While "markets are always trying to get an edge", investors who responded to every one of the president's tweets "probably would have lost money", he added.

Other market experts offered mixed views about the widely noticed social media comment.

According to analysts, the figures increased the likelihood of a June interest rate hike by the USA central bank, the Federal Reserve.

"It doesn't look good", said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst.

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Within seconds of Trump's post, the USA dollar strengthened and Treasury yields rose, as investors anticipated the strong report they thought Trump had foreshadowed.

Trump has, on at least one other occasion, publicly revealed the contents of a tightly held government report before its release.

"Risks are brewing. with the latest round of tariffs on aluminum and steel", said Joseph Song, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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

MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting wrote previous year that President Richard Nixon ousted one head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics he viewed as a political enemy.

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Trump's tweet about jobs report raises questions