President Barack Obama’s former economic adviser on Friday floated the idea that President Donald Trump should be barred from getting the monthly jobs report in advance, after Trump tweeted out what appeared to be a tease of the strong numbers.
“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” Trump tweeted at 7:21 a.m. on Friday.
Multiple Obama officials seized on the tweet, noting that the Council of Economic Advisers receives the numbers the day before and the president also typically gets an opportunity to see them in advance.
“You should have gotten the employment numbers from the Council of Economic Advisers yesterday,” Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s CEA, wrote on Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet. “And if this tweet is conveying inside information about a particularly good jobs number you should never get them in advance from the Council of Economic Advisers again.”
Furman sent the tweet before the release of the report, which showed that the U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May, beating expectations and driving the unemployment level down to 3.8 percent, the lowest since April 2000.
After the news broke, Furman, who is now a professor of practice at the Harvard Kennedy School, followed up with another tweet saying, “I can see why President Trump was so excited that he felt compelled to hype the numbers in advance.”
Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s former chief economic adviser, also seized on Trump’s tweet before the report came out, and suggested that Trump may have teased out “classified information.”
“If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law,” Goolsbee tweeted.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.