The crux of the matter is that while the president and his senior aides always get an advance look at the jobs data, they never talk about it in public. And while, in theory, Trump didn’t say anything about the content of the briefing he got Thursday night, he was clearly teasing good news about the report. And if he’s willing to be this cavalier about the rules in public, one has to wonder what he would do with the information in secret during his various late-night phone calls.
If you don't think Trump is using the information he gets to enrich himself, you haven't been paying attention to all the instances where he's used the Oval office to directly enrich himself, and his friends. There's a reason why Trump continues to emulate Putin's oligarchy, it offers him unlimited power and the checks and balances put in place to rein him in don't exist because he's more than happy to spread the wealth that depends on him remaining in charge. We live in that era in America now.
The larger reason for secrecy around government economic data is not fear that it will be released early to the public, but that it will be spread privately to individuals who will then be able to make a profit off trading on insider information.
A normal president would have trouble getting away with this because his sources of income would be routinely disclosed to the public. Trump, however, does not disclose his income tax returns. And the information he does disclose about his financial assets is uninformative because it simply tells us he owns a lot of shell companies.
Trump also routinely holds freewheeling evening discussions with friends from the worlds of business and conservative media. He has even been known to casually leak Israeli intelligence to the Russian foreign minister in what we are all supposed to believe was an accident.
It’s obviously not possible for journalists to know for sure what non-Twitter use Trump is putting this information to in secret. As with many other Trump corruption issues, it would be relatively simple for Congress to use its oversight powers to find out.
But from Inauguration Day until today, congressional Republicans have unanimously preferred not to know anything about how Trump is misusing his powers of office for personal financial gain, so we’re not likely to find out as long as they remain in the majority.
Republicans fleeing the House know they're in trouble with the voters, but they also know that right now the government gravy train is as loaded as it's ever been, and they're going to ride the rails as long as they can.
As I keep saying, Trump is merely the metastasized, malignant symptom of the cancer in the body politic. Until we excise the GOP, the disease will continue to spread.