Trump under fire for tweet about jobs report

President Donald Trump

Evan Vucci Associated Press President Donald Trump

In the span of time between when Trump posted his tweet and when the jobs report was released, US treasury yields shot up.

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

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, according to Labor Department figures published on Friday.

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.

Investors welcomed the report. Globally, the USA government is considered a gold standard in terms of the quality and reliability of the information it releases - not a reputation worth trashing for a tweet.

Former White House economists from President Barack Obama's administration took to social media to argue Trump's tweet had upended decades of precedent and likely violated regulations about the handling of classified data.

"People need to stop being so woke", said Neil Dutta, the head of USA economics at Renaissance Macro.

Trump has tried to tie the success of his presidency to the success of the economy.

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow admitted that numerous looming global trade disputes could jeopardize the robust US labor market.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNBC that Trump did not break the rule because he did not cite the report's numbers.

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. "You can read into that 10 different things if you want to read into it".

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The jobs report has heavy influence on financial markets and is closely guarded by federal officials.

The rule governing comment on the jobs data was put in place for at least two reasons.

Washington has long tried to prevent market-moving data like the employment numbers from being prematurely released.

Job creation has always been the key talking point for the Trump administration. "There wasn't a reaction beyond the markets' reactions to other (Trump) tweets", he said. "He jumped over it".

They think that Trump is in violation of a 1985 OMB directive, which forbids employees of the Executive Branch from telling anyone about the numbers until an hour after their public release.

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. The terms of the rule are so stringent that reporters who cover the Labor Department and other agencies responsible for the release of this data are kept in a room where they are allowed to have advance access to the data so that they can prepare their reporting in advance but from which they are unable to communicate with the outside world. In past administrations, that task was often performed by the CEA chairman, who is seen as less political. As I understand it, it is generally a small group of people who receive this information, such as the Chief of Staff, Treasury Secretary, the head of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and, of course, the President himself.

"If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law", tweeted Goolsbee.

A CNN political commentator reminded his followers that this is not the first time that President Donald Trump violated the directive.

"I apologize if we're a little excited and we're so glad to see so many fellow Americans back at work", he said. The White House is also threatening China with separate duties. And it came at the height of the financial crisis, when companies were laying off workers and the stock market was sliding almost every day. Anyone with inside information on the results - did the economy add or lose jobs? - could easily profit off it.

A former member of the President's council of economic advisers under President Obama pointed out the possibility of leaked information sparking insider trading, and said that any leaks should be investigated.

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

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