Former Obama Officials Attack Trump on Early Job Report Message, Forget Barack Did the Same in '09


If it weren’t for double standards, the left would have no standards at all, a disappointing truism that is proven correct on a near daily basis by progressive political operatives and the liberal media.

A report from Politico highlighted that double standard in light of their coverage of criticism directed at President Donald Trump for supposedly violating a rule against speaking ahead of time about impending employment report numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly releases.

The rule is intended to prevent administration and government officials with advanced knowledge of the report numbers from saying anything publicly about them until one hour after they are released, so as not to have any undue effect on the economic markets.

About one hour prior to the release of the May jobs report Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning.”

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That rather non-specific tweet allegedly caused market futures to spike upwards in anticipation of good news, which the report ultimately delivered, as it revealed a better than predicted gain of 223,000 jobs and a drop of the unemployment rate to 3.8 percent for the month of May.

Former officials from the Obama administration immediately jumped on Trump’s supposed violation of the tradition to wait until one hour after the report is released before saying anything. But current White House officials — who confirmed that Trump and others received the numbers on Thursday — countered by noting he hadn’t revealed anything at all with his tweet, and merely expressed his anticipation of the release like countless other Americans.

“We took the one-hour delay 100 percent seriously,” said Jason Furman, chairman of former President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “There were times when there was a good number and they wanted to send the president out to talk about it, but Air Force One was scheduled to leave at 9:15 a.m. and we would tell them to delay the flight until after 9:30 a.m.”

“The jobs number is the biggest market-mover there is, and this certainly undermines trust in the numbers and raises the specter that there is something much more sinister going on,” he continued, prior to suggesting Trump no longer be allowed to see the numbers in advance.

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“I’d suggest that CEA no longer give the president the number. And if they do give it to him and he says anything about it at all before release, they should share all the data with everyone immediately,” Furman added.

His criticism was echoed by another former chair of Obama’s CEA, Austan Goolsbee, who tweeted Friday, “If the president just tipped that the numbers are good, he broke the law.”

The crux of their argument is that Trump’s “anticipatory” tweet ahead of the release could signal to traders that the numbers are good and influence futures trading. Likewise, if he then chose not to tweet ahead of another release, traders may assume a bad report is incoming and influence their futures trading to account for that possibility.

Politico noted that all prior presidents have adhered to the policy rather strictly, save for former President Lyndon Johnson, who routinely spoke in advance of the release of jobs report numbers. But it seems everyone forgot that Obama was known to do so at times as well.

A Reuters report from February 2009 revealed that Obama had spoken out a full day in advance of a “dismal jobs report” for January, which showed some 525,000 jobs had been cut following the loss of 524,000 jobs in December 2008.

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That report revealed the third straight month of job losses in excess of half a million, as well as the unemployment rate rising to 7.5 percent. Obama’s remarks were part of his effort to secure support for his massive economic stimulus bill to try and “save” the economy, which in hindsight did little to help and likely prolonged the recession and delayed a real recovery.

Thus, we see yet again that leftists will try to hold Trump and others on the right to an exacting standard while looking the other way when their own violate those same standards, a disgusting reality that simply must be called out whenever it is displayed.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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