Washington, UNITED STATES
Journalist are see reflected as White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White...
DAY 50 / MARCH 10: A series of tweets by White House spokesman Sean Spicer commenting on strong February job creation figures may have run afoul of federal guidance barring most officials from commenting on key economic data within an hour of its release.
The rule, Statistical Policy Directive Number 3, is meant to "preserve the distinction between the policy-neutral release of data by statistical agencies and their interpretation by policy officials."
Asked about the tweets at a White House news briefing, Spicer said the posts simply repeated public information and did not provide any analysis that could have disrupted markets.
"We're excited to see so many Americans back to work," he said. "So, I apologize if we were a little excited."
In its monthly report on U.S. employment, released at 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department said nonfarm employers added 235,000 workers to their payrolls, with the unemployment rate dropping a tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent.
Twenty-four minutes after the data was released, Spicer tweeted, "Great news for American workers: economy added 235,000 new jobs, unemployment rate drops to 4.7% in first report for @POTUS Trump."
Minutes later, he added: "Not a bad way to start day 50 of this Administration."
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, in his own tweet at 9:02 a.m.: "@POTUS Trump delivers in first #JobsReport. 235,000 new jobs and unemployment rate down to 4.7%. Great news for American workers!"
Vice President Mike Pence also got into the act.
Trump retweeted a post from the Drudge Report that said simply, "GREAT AGAIN: +235,000."