President Trump broke years of presidential protocol on Friday morning by posting a tweet that signaled a strong jobs report was on its way from the Labor Department an hour before the report was released.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Friday showed May unemployment at 3.8 percent, the lowest since 1969, with female unemployment at 3.6 percent, the lowest since 1953.
Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, confirmed that he told the president about the numbers on Thursday night aboard Air Force One.
When Trump tweeted about the jobs report, it was evident that he was optimistic about the numbers. 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.
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. Trump has made the roaring stock market a centerpiece of his administration and re-election campaign, though Wall Street has faced recent uncertainty due to the administration's saber-rattling over tariffs.
The strong employment report also hinted at a labor market squeeze that could leave employers struggling to find qualified workers, slowing job growth and lifting wages. This is one reason why you generally won't see an official statement from the White House or the Administration publicly commenting on any economic report until after the markets have opened in New York City at 9:30 am. The US "needs to choose between tariffs and exporting more to China".
"I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally", Kudlow added.
Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said the White House had followed the same procedures as prior administrations and argued that because Trump hadn't tweeted hard numbers, he hadn't done anything wrong.
Those anxious that tariffs could backfire by killing U.S.jobs need to remember that nobody has been more effective in building up the poor than President Trump, according to his senior trade adviser.
The Republican National Committee pushed back against criticism of Trump's Friday Twitter post by pointing to a comment Obama made on February 5, 2009, the day before jobs data was released.
Trump often wants to know the information as soon as possible, a person familiar with the briefings said, and receives the information on Thursday evenings, as he did this week when he was briefed by Kudlow. But we shouldn't say it's par for the course, either. 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.
The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, better than economists predicted.
"It doesn't look good", said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst.
"He has been on a campaign to undermine public trust in information that doesn't come from him", Naftali said. The tweet certainly suggested that a good number was coming.