'What an Ass': New Emails Reveal Federal Employees Fumed About Trump After He Seemed to Violate Disclosure Rule

President Donald Trump's decision to promote the unreleased job numbers at the beginning of June — an apparent violation of a long-standing rule prohibiting officials from commenting on the data — stirred fury and anxiety within the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new emails obtained by Quartz show.

The kerfuffle occurred when Trump tweeted ahead of the BLS's June release: "Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning." While the president and a few other officials are given the data ahead of the official release, they are prohibited from discussing the numbers publicly within an hour of publication to avoid politicizing the non-partisan work of the Labor Department.

“What an ass,” one employee wrote in response to an article about the president's tweet, according to Quartz.

“I’m guessing there won’t be any repercussions for him,” another reportedly said in an email. “Consequences are for the little people, not bigshots with little hands.” 

One employee, trying to look on the bright side, reportedly wrote that it was at least better that Trump isn't calling the numbers fake, as he did during the campaign.

Quartz also notes that while an internal investigation into the incident has been launched, an official said that Trump himself is not — and could not be — the subject of the investigation.

The outlet obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request because the documents are part of the public record. It chose not to reveal the names of the lower-level employees involved "because the BLS senders have little power over agency operations or government at large."

The report notes that the employees could nevertheless face retaliation from the upper levels of the Trump administration for criticizing the president.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.