Since at least 1985 there has been a federal regulation that prohibits government employees from publicly discussing in any manner jobs report numbers before they are released. It’s in place to ensure manipulation of the markets does not take place, and to ensure the perception of integrity of federal agencies.
Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
It’s not the first time the Trump administration has violated this federal law, which was, as ThinkProgress points to, was published in the federal register decades ago. It reads in part, “employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.” The numbers are closely guarded and released at 8:30 AM.
The White House immediately rushed to defend Trump’s actions.
BREAKING: White House Press Sec. tells CNBC that President Trump was briefed on the jobs report last night & it was appropriate to tweet that he was ‘looking forward’ to the report this morning because he didn’t put the numbers out early https://t.co/4LLtae6nUY pic.twitter.com/JGSSJgZBdl
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) June 1, 2018
Larry Kudlow, the president’s director of the National Economic Council, admits he shared the good news with Trump Thursday evening – which is entirely legal and customary.
But sharing them with your pals before they are released isn’t, as one writer for The New York wonders about:
The President, typically, is briefed on the jobs numbers on Thursday afternoon. The public learns them Friday morning.
— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) June 1, 2018
CNBC’s John Harwood wondered aloud as well:
speaking of which, interesting to know whether Trump shared them with Hannity last night https://t.co/M3DmrkEkLO
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) June 1, 2018
And if you’re wondering if Trump’s tweet had any impact on the markets, here’s what Bloomberg Business reporter Lisa Abramowicz has to say:
This is…unusual. Trump tweeted about jobs day at 7:21am EST, suggesting he knew the numbers would be surprisingly good. https://t.co/k35UPSEPI6 That’s how the market took it anyway, with U.S. yields taking a leg higher right after. Raises a lot of questions. pic.twitter.com/TcN9oLNYqU
— Lisa Abramowicz (@lisaabramowicz1) June 1, 2018
Many economics experts are making clear Trump’s tweet was likely an illegal act in violation of federal regulations.
The former Chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee suggests Trump broke the law:
If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law https://t.co/8MDJZAS22j
— Austan Goolsbee (@Austan_Goolsbee) June 1, 2018
Former White House aide and CNN political contributor Keith Boykin:
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 1, 2018
Elizabeth C. McLaughlin, whose bio describes her in part as “a fifteen year career as a full-time Wall Street securities litigator and trial lawyer,” says it’s “Wildly illegal”:
Wildly illegal. I’m a former securities fraud litigator. The SEC will doubtless be looking at the trades that resulted immediately after this. https://t.co/RaxhgedAww
— ElizabethCMcLaughlin (@ECMcLaughlin) June 1, 2018
Former Secretary of the Treasury and former Director of the National Economic Council (the position now held by Larry Kudlow), Lawrence Summers:
If during the Clinton or Obama Administrations there had been a statement from @POTUS or anyone senior official in the morning before the Employment Report it would have been a major scandal—with all sorts of investigations following on.
— Lawrence H. Summers (@LHSummers) June 1, 2018
New York University Stern School of Business professor on what Summers said:
Agreed. Trump tipped off some investors an hour before the most closely held economic report, the employment report https://t.co/Ls6r0Bj8C5
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) June 1, 2018
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Trump Swipes at Mark Zuckerberg Asking for White House Goodies: ‘He Didn’t Do Too Well’
Former President Donald J. Trump mocked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and “big tech” during an interview on Tuesday when he appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity.
Trump meandered throughout the interview and went off on a tangent claiming he did “big things” when discussing the 2020 election. Trump said Zuckerberg visited the White House “trying to get goodies,” but that “he didn’t do too well.”
Trump added, “So I thought that he was concerned we were doing things. We were doing things. Had we had a second term, we would have had that much, really, pretty much under control. We had some incredible things planned for big tech.”
Watch the video below.
Lincoln Project Trolls Trump with New TV Ad Where He’s Currently Vacationing
According to the Sun Sentinel, the group has bought air time in the West Palm Beach market from Wednesday through Jan. 5. Trump is scheduled to be in the area until Jan. 3.
“A major pillar of The Lincoln Project’s 2020 strategy was aiming to torment an audience of one — Trump — through advertising on cable shows he’s sure to watch on channels such as Fox News,” the Sentinel reports. “That’s the aim of the latest effort, which seeks to drive a wedge between Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who will preside over the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress at which the electoral votes making Joe Biden the next president will be counted.”
The ad focuses on recent reports that say Vice President Mike Pence is “backing away” from Trumpworld’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“When Mike Pence is backing away from you, you know it’s over,” the ad states.
Watch the ad below.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 22, 2020
‘A Parting Gift to Dictators’: Trump Issues Final Round of Foreign Military Sales in Middle East
On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Brian Klaas tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for a final round of foreign military sales in the Middle East that function as a “parting gift to dictators” — and suggested he could even be using them to set up a private quid pro quo down the road in his post-presidency.
“All three regimes have abysmal human rights records,” wrote Klaas. “Saudi Arabia has beheaded dissidents, subjugated women and detained female activists who have pushed for reforms, and murdered and dismembered Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The United Arab Emirates is home to torture, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances. Egypt’s dictatorship has carried
“Given past behavior, we know how these weapons will likely be used,” warned Klaas. “Despots will use them to help facilitate war crimes in places such as Yemen and the Sinai Peninsula while maintaining an iron grip over their own populations — all aided and abetted by the U.S. government.”
And even worse, Klaas argued, Trump himself could be using these sales to call in a personal favor from these countries in his post-presidency. “Once Trump leaves the White House, odds are good that he will cash in,” he wrote. “Seen in that light, the recently approved arms sales and military technology transfers are even more worrying. Are they just the beginning of a quid pro quo?”
All of this is occurring as President-elect Joe Biden alleges the Pentagon is obstructing him from getting all of the national security information he requires for the transition — something administration officials deny.
“For the past four years, Trump has painted the image of a United States that consistently sides with tyrants,” concluded Klaas. “Biden now has an opportunity to reverse Trump’s catastrophic foreign policy. He should take it.”
You can read more here.
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