Trump crows as rosy jobs report underscores booming economy

Sean Reid
June 4, 2018

Trump had good reason to be happy.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appeared to call for a congressional inquiry into the tweet, saying lawmakers had "the constitutional authority to investigate".

The May jobs report showed the US economy added 223,000 jobs compared with an average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months, and that the unemployment rate edged down to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

President Donald Trump may have given gold and interest-rate traders a clear heads-up on the solid May jobs report, judging from market moves after his early tweet.

"By law and custom, I was just doing my job, and it was a great number, and I got ahold of him on Air Force One", Kudlow said of his decision to share the jobs numbers with Trump on Thursday night.

"It's possible. I don't think it has right now", Kudlow continued.

"This could get an ordinary person in legal trouble, but we're talking about Trump - he breaks all the rules", said Horizon Investment chief global strategist Greg Valliere in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

President Trump pumps his fist to the crowd as he arrives at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas on May 31, 2018.

Unemployment figures for May again shattered multiple records as hundreds of thousands of Americans found jobs in the growing market. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street regulator that combats insider trading, declined to comment. White House officials have argued that it makes no sense to prohibit the president from discussing publicly available information being reported on in the press. 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. "Except for members of the staff of the agency issuing the principal economic indicator who have been designated by the agency head to provide technical explanations of the data, employees of the executive branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time".

Does the OMB restriction apply to the president?

"If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law", tweeted Goolsbee. Is yours on the list?

The Trump administration said on Thursday it was moving ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, ending a two-month exemption and potentially setting the stage for a trade war with some of America's top allies, Reuters said.

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.

At least one close observer of USA financial markets viewed Trump's tweet as unusual.

"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.

Viewing the tweet as unusual, Hunsader retweeted it.

Though Trump's tweet drew sharp criticism, Kudlow defended it as appropriate. "There wasn't a reaction beyond the markets' reactions to other (Trump) tweets", he said.

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