Trump just got accused of tweeting an early-morning message that violates federal law

With the restraint of a 9-year-old in a candy store, the President of the United States took to Twitter this morning to tease the impending May jobs report—and may have violated federal law in the process.

At 7:21AM EST, after months of relatively unremarkable jobs reports, Trump tweeted that he was “looking forward” to seeing last month’s employment numbers.

Its official release at 8:30AM EST revealed that it was indeed much stronger than expected: 223,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. Not impressive, however, is the fact that Trump’s tweet may violate federal regulations stipulating that “employees of the Executive Branch shall not comment publicly on the data until at least one hour after the official release time.”

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.

Trump, however, was given the jobs report in advance, a point confirmed by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow.

In other words, by virtue of saying anything at all (which he has never done) ahead of perhaps the strongest jobs report of his presidency, investors were able to infer that it would be strong.

And they did.

The move is especially problematic because, moving forward, should Trump fail to tease the report, investors could presumably extrapolate that the report isn’t strong, and react accordingly prior to its actual release.

Looking to the president for clues, those who understand the market would now be able to use this illegal tactic to buy or sell, which would certainly help any of Trump’s rich friends make some quick cash.

But, of course, he’s the populist president of the forgotten man, the little guy. How could I forget?

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.