Reporter Asks Disturbing Question About White House Leak

( Nancy Cook, a correspondent for Bloomberg News who covers the White House, posed this question to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: Does the White House believe that an inflation report “was leaked” because of “big market movement” prior to its release?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a CPI (Consumer Price Index) report on Tuesday morning that showed lower-than-expected inflation for the month of November. Those expectations fueled a surge in Dow futures and other market activity in the minutes before the report came out.

During the press briefing that took place on Tuesday, Jean-Pierre pushed back when Cook repeatedly asked whether the White House or the Treasury Department had concerns that the information may have been leaked.

Nancy Cook said, “I wonder if the White House is worried that the inflation data, which came out this morning, was leaked. There was big market movement about two minutes before its — it came out, and I’m just wondering how the White House has viewed that.”

Jeanne-Pierre said that she saw that reporting.  She said the White House thinks that there’s too much weight being put into that and how the market may have “moved in a minor way.”

She said she thinks it’s just being “looked into it a little bit too much.”

Cook asked if the White House and Treasury were looking into it at all, or are were they just not worried about it?

Jean-Pierre said, “Look, I think that — look, when it — I can tell you this: There were no leaks from here. I can tell you defi- — definitively. Or at least I’m not aware of any leaks. And I know there were very strict security protocols to prevent leaks. But I think, again, people may be reading a little bit too much into this — into some of the minor market movements. And so, anything more, I would — I would refer you to the Department of Labor.”

Bloomberg did not cite any proof of a leak in its article on the conversation between Cook and Jean-Pierre, but it did note that “Over a 60-second period before the data went out, 13,518 March 10-year futures traded, pushing Treasury yields lower prior to the release of the consumer price index report at 8:30 a.m. in New York.