- The former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn kept the monthly jobs report away from President Donald Trump to prevent any leaks, Politico reported Monday.
- Over an hour before the jobs report on Friday, Trump tweeted he was “looking forward” to the numbers, jolting traders into speculation that they were good.
- A Bureau of Economic Analysis rule bars executive-branch officials from commenting on the jobs report until an hour after its release.
- Larry Kudlow, who replaced Cohn in the NEC role, said Trump didn’t give anything away.
The former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn kept the monthly jobs report away from President Donald Trump, worried he would be compelled to comment on them early, Politico’s Ben White and Aubree Eliza Weaver reported Monday.
More than an hour before the May jobs report was released on Friday, Trump tweeted he was “looking forward to seeing the employment numbers.” He didn’t disclose them in the tweet, but appeared to violate a Bureau of Economic Analysis rule that bars executive-branch employees from commenting until an hour after the numbers are officially made public.
Additionally, the tweet fuelled speculation that the jobs report was going to be good. Treasurys and gold extended declines while stock futures rose in the period between Trump’s tweet and the jobs report’s release. And it turned out to be a solid report, showing that the US economy added a better-than-expected 223,000 nonfarm payrolls, while the unemployment rate, at 3.8%, matched a low not seen since 2000 and 1969.
On Friday, Larry Kudlow, who replaced Cohn in the NEC role, told CNBC he gave Trump the numbers on Thursday while the president was flying on Air Force One.
Kudlow added that the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers usually gets the jobs numbers late in the afternoon or the evening before jobs Friday. He then shares them with the NEC director, who decides whether to forward them to the president.
“His tweet basically said, like everybody else, we wait [sic] the jobs report,” Kudlow said. “You can read into that 10 different things if you want to read into it … I don’t think he gave anything away.”
As Politico noted, the absence of a tweet before future jobs reports could fuel speculation that the numbers are bad.