ASKS IF LEAKS ARE “TOTALLY ILLEGAL”
by Sharon Rondeau
Trump had campaigned on a platform of job-creation, the revival of American manufacturing, and more favorable trade agreements for the U.S. He has rolled back Obama-era regulations affecting the environment, small businesses, and other areas which one analyst called “historic.”
As he often did during the campaign and in the months following his inauguration, Trump accused the mainstream media of publishing “fake news” and failing to report on the increase in the number of Americans now working full-time who were previously unemployed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate fell in November 2016 from 4.9% to 4.6%, with 178,000 “non-farm” jobs added to the economy. BLS said that as a result, 7.4 million U.S. workers remained out of work.
Some sources reported that figure to be much higher as a result of many working-age Americans being considered by the BLS to be “not in the labor force.”
In February 2016, The New York Times reported that American wages had risen slightly and quoted a market analyst as having said that “sustained increases are still needed to make up for years of stagnation.”
The report showed that the month prior, the national unemployment rate fell to below an official 5% for the first time in years.
On May 19, 2017, BLS reported that during the previous month:
In March, CNBC reported that February 2017 saw a significant increase in full-time employment. The report stated:
Employment in the private sector surged by 298,000 for the month, with goods producers adding 106,000, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said. Construction jobs swelled by 66,000 and manufacturing added 32,000.
The total shattered market expectations of 190,000, according to economists surveyed by ADP. The blockbuster report also solidified market expectations for the Fed to hike interest rates next week. Probability for an increase jumped to 91 percent after the release, according to the CME.
The report encompassed the first full month under President Donald Trump, who has pledged to rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure system.
In his second tweet of the morning, Trump took credit for the creation of “600,000+ new jobs” under his presidency.
According to mainstream media reports, in January, 227,000 jobs were added (Politico); 235,000 were added in February (CNN Money); 263,000 in March (MarketWatch); and in April, 211,000 (USA Today).
On April 11, 2017, CNN Money stated that Trump’s assertion at that time that “he created 600,000 jobs” was “Not true.”
The CNN Money article continued:
Official government data does not back up that claim.
According to CNNMoney’s Trump Jobs Tracker, 317,000 jobs have been created since Trump took office. The president is trying to take credit for nearly double that number of jobs.
The ultimate authority on how many jobs are created (or lost) each month is the US Labor Department. CNNMoney’s 317,000 figure includes how many jobs the Labor Department reported were created in February (219,000) and March (98,000).
On April 5, MarketWatch reported, along with its March statistics:
The increase in March exceeded expectations. Economists polled by Econoday had forecast a March gain of 170,000 jobs compared with an original estimate of 298,000 for February.”
President Donald Trump has claimed credit for the acceleration in the pace of job growth this year, as businesses look at the possibility of tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending. Job gains have averaged 252,000 in the first three months of 2017.
For the months in question, BLS reported 235,000 new non-farm jobs created in February and 98,000 in March 2017. The Post & Email has not been able to find an explanation for the large discrepancy noted in the March statistics between the BLS and media sources and therefore sent the following to the BLS on Sunday:
Hello, I am writing an article about the number of non-farm, full-time jobs created since the beginning of the year and noted that your figure for March is 98,000 https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/payroll-employment-edged-up-by-98000-in-march-2017.htm
However, MarketWatch http://www.marketwatch.com/story/private-sector-adds-263000-jobs-in-march-adp-2017-04-05, citing ADP https://www.adpemploymentreport.com/2017/March/NER/NER-March-2017.aspx, reported the number to be 263,000. How can this discrepancy be explained?
Your numbers also differ from those of mainstream media outlets for January and February, although not as significantly.
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 113
Canterbury, CT 06331-0113
On May 5, USA Today, whose editorial board called Trump “unfit for the presidency” in its first-ever publicly-issued position about a presidential candidate, reported that the unemployment rate had reached a “10-year low.”
On June 2, the same source reported that 138,000 new jobs were created in May, substantially below expectations of 185,000, but that unemployment had reached a “16-year low.”
BLS reports that 227,000 jobs were created in January. CNN Money argued that Trump was “was only in office for 11.5 days that month.”
After the election, several thousand jobs were maintained in the U.S. by Carrier Corporation and Ford Motor Company following Trump’s negotiations with CEOs, who had planned to move them to Mexico. Some jobs continued on that trajectory and were relocated south of the border.
A NASDAQ stock market report dated November 1, 2016 stated the Dow Jones Industrial Average to have decreased 0.1%, closing that day at 18,142.42.
On Friday, June 9, MarketWatch reported that the Dow Jones closed at 21,271.97, while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices lost ground.
Approximately seven minutes after tweeting about job-creation and stock market gains, Trump changed the subject to “leaks” allegedly committed by former FBI Director James Comey.
I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very “cowardly!”
By his own admission during his Thursday testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey leaked a memo he allegedly wrote recounting his interaction with Trump on February 14, 2017 to a friend employed at Columbia University to give to the press.
On Friday, Charles Gasparino of the Fox Business Channel told host Neil Cavuto that Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, has been investigating Comey for leaks since March. In statements Kasowitz made on both Thursday and Friday, he suggested that Comey leaked the contents of memos to the press prior to the date Comey stated in his testimony as May 15, 2017.
An article in The New York Times dated May 16, 2017 was the first to refer to the memos, but on Thursday, following Comey’s testimony, Kasowitz implied that a May 11, 2017 New York Times article contained verbiage mirroring one of the memos written about a January 27, 2017 dinner between Comey and Trump.
Some in the mainstream media did not understand that which Kasowitz was claiming: that information from Comey’s memos had found their way into the media without having been identified as emanating from the memos.
Some sources have suggested that Comey’s leaking of the memos to a third party to give to The Times was a violation of the Federal Records Act and the FBI Employment Agreement. On Saturday evening, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told Fox News host Jesse Watters that in a conversation with Comey prior to his testimony, Comey informed him that he “did not know” where the memos are being maintained.
Others have said that Comey cannot be prosecuted for leaking to the media.
As this article was under preparation, Trump tweeted: