President Donald Trump on Friday broke with decades of protocol and commented publicly about the highly anticipated jobs report data 69 minutes before they were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Trump administration is examining ways US industries could hire more immigrant workers on a temporary basis, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday, as data showed the United States unemployment rate at an 18-year low.
Though Trump's tweet suggested a strong jobs report, it may not have been the White House's first time giving clues on the numbers.
But the tweet was followed by a swift reaction from markets and a strengthening of the dollar, sparking criticism of the president's handling of sensitive information. Bloomberg News data also showed that the value of the USA dollar moved sharply higher after the Twitter post compared with previous trades the mornings jobs data are released.
"He chose to tweet", Kudlow said, asserting that Trump had followed both the rules and past practices.
"He simply ignored the wall", New York University presidential historian Timothy Naftali said of Trump's post Friday.
And there is a federal rule dictating that federal employees who know the jobs numbers ahead of time must keep them secret.
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"He didn't give any numbers", White House aidie Larry Kudlow told reporters outside the White House on Friday. Most national reporters live in Washington or NY and don't know any factory workers and don't think about them.
"We're concerned that these actions are actually not conducive to helping our economy, they actually are destructive, and that is consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin", Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at a news conference after the meeting ended in the Canadian mountain resort town of Whistler, British Columbia.
Ari Fleischer, a Republican who served in President George W. Bush's administration and has been an occasional Trump adviser, also took exception, tweeting: "This certainly was a no-no". Friday's tweet, however, was the first time he's ever spoken about the job's report before it was released.
"It's classified information", said Goolsbee, who is now an economics professor at the University of Chicago. Trump's tweet hinted a positive report, providing a signal to markets.
"1985 federal directive on #JobsReport states: "employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time".
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 president received the jobs report on Thursday night on Air Force One.
Kudlow, who also spoke on Fox Business Network, noted that while the White House was wrestling with Congress over legislation to address immigration long-term, "I think you're going to see some progress" on immigrant employment visas near-term.