'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.