The Chatterbox-in-Chief Blows Yet Another Secret

Who is this man talking to?Pete Marovich/CNP via ZUMA

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Once a month the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases new job numbers. The report is always released at 8:30 am, just like many other BLS releases, and before then it’s treated as extremely confidential, just like every other BLS release. How confidential? There are people who have built multi-million-dollar communications networks to get BLS numbers from DC to Chicago a few microseconds before anyone else. That’s how confidential.

A day ahead of time the numbers are shared with the Council of Economic Advisers, who often show them to a few members of the White House staff—including the president, of course. This is done so that the administration can be prepared to talk about them intelligently after they’re made public. Before then, everyone is very tight-lipped about things.

Until now. An hour before the May report was released, President Trump posted a tweet:

As Jason Furman notes, Trump wasn’t “looking forward” to seeing the employment numbers. He’d already seen them. He just wanted to telegraph that they were pretty good:

In a mere three hours this has already been discussed to death, and I don’t have any unique insights to add. It’s pretty obvious why this is bad. It’s bad to telegraph a confidential report ahead of time. It’s bad to make people wonder if the lack of a tweet in the future means the numbers are bad. And it’s obvious to wonder if maybe Trump chatted with a few of his favorite friends about this during his copious executive time last night.

It’s equally obvious, I suppose, that Republicans will all rally around and insist that this is no big deal. And why not? They’ve already made it clear that as long as Trump gives them lots of conservative judges to confirm, they’ll defend anything he does. So this will disappear down the he-said-she-said rathole and a month from now we’ll all be glued to our Twitter feeds around 4:30 am to see if the president is going to give us a hint about the June employment numbers.

In the meantime, this has put Trump front and center, and that’s all that really matters to him. What a feckless cretin.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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