White House staffers reportedly had to apologise for one of Trump's tweets that may have violated a long-standing rule

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump.
  • One of President Donald Trump’s tweets in June appeared to violate a long-standing government rule and struck a nerve for some employees at the US Bureau of Labour Statistics.
  • In his tweet, Trump discussed national employment numbers about an hour before they were publicly released.
  • Although Trump did not mention any specifics in his tweet, BLS employees were still displeased he had breached protocol and publicly commented on the report.
  • The bureau’s acting commissioner said in an email the White House was “very apologetic” for the flub.

President Donald Trump’s tweets have incensed some people over the years, but one particular message in June appeared to violate a long-standing practice and struck a nerve with government employees at the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS).

“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” Trump tweeted in the morning of June 1.

According to about 200 BLS employee emails reviewed by Quartz, staffers at the agency were shocked after Trump tweeted about national employment numbers around an hour before they are publicly released.

The rule, as noted in government records, prohibited a member of the executive branch from publicly commenting on the results until one hour after they were released.

“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,” the Federal Register said.

The president is typically briefed by the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers about a day before its public release.

Although Trump did not mention any specifics in his tweet, employees were still displeased he had breached protocol and publicly commented on the report, according to the emails obtained by Quartz.

Here are a few samples of the internal reactions to Trump’s tweet:

  • “I’m guessing there won’t be any repercussions for him,” one staffer said in an email, according to Quartz.
  • “Consequences are for the little people, not bigshots with little hands,” an economist reportedly said.
  • “What an arse,” another staffer said.
  • “I don’t know why anyone tells Trump anything,” another person wrote.

Following Trump’s previous missive on the job numbers, acting commissioner William Wiatrowski said in an email the White House was “very apologetic” for the flub. Wiatrowski added that discussions were underway “to emphasise rules” and prevent the incident from occurring again.

Other employees appeared to be indifferent to Trump’s tweet. A supervisory economist reportedly said in an email, “Surprisingly, this did not impact our day at all.”

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