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Lawmakers call for SEC probe after Trump tweet on jobs report

Unemployment rate down to 3.9%
Unemployment rate down to 3.9% 01:47

President Trump last week broke protocol by teasing the strong May job numbers in a tweet more than an hour before the Labor Department released the market-moving report. Now, three Democratic senators want to know if anyone on Wall Street also got the information ahead of time. 

In his tweet, Mr. Trump said he was "looking forward" to the jobs report, which proved better-than-expected. It is standard practice for the president to get an advance copy of the monthly hiring numbers. 

But Senators Elizabeth Warren, D.-Massachusetts, Michael Bennet, D.-Colorado, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon called Mr. Trump's tweet a "violation of federal guidelines." They want regulators to examine whether any individuals or companies received the news in advance, which could have facilitated profitable trades based on a sneak peek at the closely guarded employment data.

The three called on regulators to investigate in letters sent 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. 

According to the lawmakers, Mr. Trump's tweet "clearly implied that the employment numbers were positive for the administration and surpassed market expectations. The market reacted immediately  -- yields on the 10-year Treasury note, the dollar index and stock futures all increased following the president's tweet."

Spokespersons for both the SEC and CFTC declined comment.

The senators also expressed concern that Mr. Trump or other White House staff might have improperly circulated the labor numbers beyond the group authorized to see them before they were to be released.

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