Trump's Tweet on Jobs Data Prompts Democrats to Demand SEC Probe
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump got an early preview of last month’s jobs numbers, and foreshadowed in a tweet that hiring was strong before the data’s official release. Now Democratic senators want U.S. regulators to investigate whether anyone on Wall Street also received a heads up.
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Michael Bennet sent letters earlier this week to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the White House Council of Economic Advisers arguing Trump’s June 1 tweet was a “violation of federal guidelines.” They urged the SEC and CFTC to probe whether any person or company got the market-moving information before its public dissemination.
The letters also questioned what controls the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to keep the data confidential.
“These questions will determine whether the president knowingly used our country’s most sensitive economic data to enrich himself and his Wall Street cronies,” Oregon’s Wyden said in a Friday statement. “We must determine the extent of the president’s leaking, its impact on the financial markets and whether Trump’s friends benefited from it.”
The 10-year Treasury and other markets reacted to Trump’s tweet, in which he said he was “looking forward” to the jobs report about an hour before its release. The numbers came in strong, with a larger-than-expected increase in hiring and a drop in the unemployment rate.
In their letters to the SEC and CFTC, the Democratic senators said they “are concerned in particular that the president or other White House staff may have disclosed the prerelease data beyond the very small group authorized to see them before their official publication.”
A SEC spokeswoman declined to comment on the senators’ request for an investigation, while a CFTC spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email or phone call seeking comment.
Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said last week on CNBC that Trump had the numbers the night before and his tweet wasn’t meant to signal a positive report. Politico was first to report on the senators’ letters.
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