Business journalists and former administration officials are sounding the alarm after President Donald Trump tweeted hinting the monthly jobs report would be positive an hour before its release.
Just before 7:30 a.m. ET, Trump tweeted that he was “looking forward to seeing the employment numbers” when the report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET, a move that reporters, like Business Insider’s Pedro da Costa, are claiming has already influenced markets.
Experts and former officials have said that at best, Trump broke with expected precedent and at worst, he appeared to violate federal rules barring officials from commenting on data before its release.
Former Obama administration economic official Jason Furman spoke out on Twitter minutes after Trump’s tweet, suggesting that the President should be blocked from viewing the report ahead of its release if he was, in fact, attempting to give his followers a hint about the report.
Others, like David Wessel, a journalist and the director of the fiscal and monetary policy branch of the Brookings Institution, chalked it up to another Trump public relations nightmare that could’ve been avoided.
Some former officials were divided on the significance of the President’s tweet. Tony Fratto, the former deputy press secretary for the George W. Bush administration, said Trump didn’t break any statutes, while former Obama White House cabinet secretary Chris Lu suggested that “misuse” of the federal jobs data “leads to dismissal.”
The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
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