Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2018
From OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 3:
Except for the authorized distribution described in this section, agencies shall ensure that no information or data estimates are released before the official release time. The agency will provide prerelease information to the President, through the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, as soon as it is available. The agency may grant others prerelease access only under the following conditions: (a) The agency head must establish whatever security arrangements are necessary and impose whatever conditions on the granting of access are necessary to ensure that there is no unauthorized dissemination or use. (b) The agency head shall ensure that any person granted access has been fully informed of and agreed to these conditions. (c) Any prerelease of information under an embargo shall not precede the official release time by more than 30 minutes. (d) In all cases, prerelease access shall precede the official release time only to the extent necessary for an orderly review of the data. All employees of the Executive Branch who receive prerelease distribution of information and data estimates as authorized above are responsible for assuring that there is no release prior to the official release time. 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.Jim Tankersley at NYT:
Even before the numbers were released on Friday, economists said they were stunned at the prospect that Mr. Trump was giving hints about the report’s content, which fast-acting traders in financial markets could seize on to place bets on an optimism-fueled market surge.
Other economists went further, raising the possibility that if Mr. Trump was willing to give Twitter users a premature hint at the strength of report, he could also have shared the numbers with a more select group even earlier.
“President Trump was sent the jobs numbers in advance,” said Jason Furman, an economist at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in Obama administration. “Sharing them with the public is destabilizing and inappropriate. A bigger concern is if he was bragging about them privately to his friends last night — friends who could make millions on the information.”
Mr. Trump has celebrated strong jobs reports in the past, after they were issued. He also, before he took office, often dismissed the reports as “fiction.”
So I guess the new rule is, no preview by POTUS = weak jobs report.— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) June 1, 2018