President Trump got a scolding on social media Friday for tweeting his excitement about the government’s latest jobs report more than an hour before the good news was released to the public.
“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” Mr. Trump tweeted at 7:21 a.m.
At 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department indeed reported that the unemployment rate dropped in May to 3.8 percent as employers added 223,000 jobs last month.
The president is briefed the night before the numbers are released, and some observers accused Mr. Trump of breaking protocol by not keeping the positive news to himself.
“If this tweet is conveying inside information about a particularly good jobs number you should never get them [the numbers] in advance from the Council of Economic Advisers again,” tweeted Jason Furman, a Harvard Kennedy School professor who served as an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama.
Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of the conservative Weekly Standard, said on Twitter, “By the way, since Trump is tweeting ahead of time about the unemployment numbers, are we confident he isn’t also privately telling family and friends about them ahead of time so they can front run the market?”
Stuart Roy, a former Labor Department spokesman under President George W. Bush, called the Trump tweet “inappropriate and unusual.”
“We literally put reporters in lockdown, made them unplug from internet and took their phones before the jobs numbers were given out,” Mr. Roy said on Twitter. “The reporters were given the numbers in the lockdown room 30 min before broad release so they could write their stories. A handful of us got a briefing on the unemployment numbers 30 min prior to the release but the number was small and the consequences of leak severe.”
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the president didn’t reveal the details of the report, and said it wasn’t important that he tweeted a preview of its release.
“Why not?” Mr. Kudlow said. “He didn’t give any numbers.”
Later in the day, Mr. Trump may have gotten the last word, or tweet:
“Record JOBS DAY!! 223K jobs added. Unemployment is 3.8%, lowest in 50 yrs. Black and Asian unemployment hit historic new lows. Adult men and women, and teenagers, are at lowest since 2000. Hourly earnings are up! Tax CUTS are working. America is WINNING BIG under President Trump!”