President Trump and his press secretary seem to have violated a federal rule by posting too quickly on Twitter.
The Department of Labour announced that the US gained 235,000 jobs in the last month and Mr Trump retweeted The Drudge Report’s tweet with a link to a piece about the numbers just 11 minutes after the numbers were made public.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer sent a tweet out a mere 22 minutes after the data was made public at 8:30 am, saying it was “great news for American workers.”
Great news for American workers: economy added 235,000 new jobs, unemployment rate drops to 4.7% in first report for @POTUS Trump— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) March 10, 2017
A federal rule issued in 1985 states that “the executive branch shall not comment publicly on the data [released by federal agencies] until at least one hour after the official release.”
The White House receives jobs data ahead of the public but the rule was meant to separate the release of data from political influence and “their interpretation by policy officials,” as the rule states.
It was also put in place to avoid any influence on “financial and commodity markets.”
During his daily press briefing, Mr Spicer explained, “I understand the rule...but every reporter in this room” tweeted and wrote the story this morning.
“I apologise, we were a little excited to see so many fellow Americans back to work,” Mr Spicer said.