Speed Reads


Kudlow says Trump's jobs report tweet was totally legal. Other economists disagree.

President Trump's seemingly inconsequential tweet about the Labor Department's new jobs report broke with presidential protocol, and some experts say it may have actually violated insider trading laws.

Trump foreshadowed a positive jobs report, tweeting that he was "looking forward" to seeing the numbers a full hour before they were made public. Officials are briefed on the Labor Department's reports before they are released, but they are not supposed to comment publicly on them ahead of time, The New York Times reports.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that he told Trump about the report on Thursday night, but denied that Trump's tweet was problematic. "I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally. I think this is all according to routine, law and custom,” Kudlow said on CNBC.

Austan Goolsbee, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under former President Obama, disagreed. "If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law," Goolsbee tweeted in response to Trump's post. After the jobs report revealed numbers that Trump was surely celebrating, Goolsbee said that Trump had likely broken a rule that "forbids executive branch employees from revealing the info," a rule that is also reflected in Office of Management and Budget documents.

Other economists who have worked for the U.S. agreed with Goolsbee, telling The Washington Post that Trump's tweet was "a no-no" that undermined the data's "independence and credibility."