The federal jobs data that the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases on the first Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time moves markets. Anyone with inside information on the results -- did the economy add or lose jobs? -- could easily profit off it.

That’s why the BLS draws a tight circle around those eligible to get jobs data before it is released to the public. The president of the United States is one of them, usually during the prior afternoon or evening. Everyone with advance access to the data at the BLS and the White House have to swear not to say anything about it until they're released. Leakers face the possibilities of fines and jail if they do otherwise.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

On Thursday night, Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's economic adviser, briefed Trump about the jobs data while they were travelling together aboard Air Force One. At 7:21 a.m. Friday, Trump tweeted that he was "looking forward" to seeing the numbers he had already been briefed on:

The impact on the markets was immediate: Yields on U.S. debt ticked higher as traders suddenly anticipated a positive jobs report -- an unusual moment, as my Bloomberg News colleague Lisa Abramowicz noticed:

Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan, neatly summed up the problems Trump's tweet presented:

Ari Fleischer, a Republican who served in President George W. Bush's administration and has been an occasional Trump adviser, also took exception, tweeting: "This certainly was a no-no. The advance info is sacrosanct - not to be shared."

Aaron Sojourner, an economist at the University of Minnesota who has also helped prepare jobs report briefings for President Barack Obama and Trump, offered this thread on why he thought Trump's tweet was "wrong":

I also weighed in, writing: "Trump broke with decades of protocol and commented publicly about jobs report data about an hour before they were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

My tweet spawned a strong backlash from Trump supporters, and their responses largely fell into two camps:

1) The jobs numbers are great, so I should focus on the positives rather than the negatives (indeed, unemployment dropped to its lowest level since 1969 as a higher-than-expected 223,000 jobs were added to the economy in May), and

2) So what? Just stop your sobbing you liberal jerk and #MAGA.On the first point: Today's jobs numbers were, indeed, great. But the momentum giving lift to the labor market began years ago during the Obama administration. Trump still needs another year or so in office before he and his supporters can lay sole claim to the macroeconomic gains we're seeing.

On the second point: Saying "so what?" to Trump's serial disregard for process, tradition and the law isn't a valid critique -- it's actually central to the problem. Institutions, processes and the law exist so powerful individuals can't flout convention or break rules and norms simply because they feel like it or get a kick out of doing it.

There are bigger issues at stake. Government economists assemble the job report with great care and secrecy because policymakers and analysts depend on the data to make decisions that affect financial markets and countless lives. Globally, the U.S. government is considered a gold standard in terms of the quality and reliability of the information it releases – not a reputation worth trashing for a tweet.

Some Trump supporters disagree. Here’s what one Twitter inhabitant, @billiecat, had to say about my observation that Trump "broke with decades of protocol" in his leak about the jobs data:

I have no doubt that Trump followers like @billiecat want real change -- and real jobs. They clearly believe that Trump will deliver those things to them, protocol be damned. But in the absence of protocol you also can end up with a cult of personality fetching enough that you say "so what?" to almost any transgression. You stop caring.

There’s good reason to have deep concerns about Trump’s propensity for breaking the rules. After all, he has been playing fast and loose with information for some time now.

Back in 2002, when Trump was still just a businessman, the Securities and Exchange Commission forced his casino company to sign a cease and desist agreement after an investigation showed it had used “fraudulent” reporting tactics and doctored accounting in its public earnings statements.

After becoming president, he showed a similar inability to play it straight with valuable information. Last year, in a White House meeting with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador, he revealed highly classified information about a top-secret Israeli military operation (he was in the process of bragging to the Russian officials about the quality of his intelligence reports).

So we shouldn't be surprised that Trump -- either out of ignorance or just his historical and flagrant disregard for the law -- leaked the jobs market data. But we shouldn’t say it's par for the course, either. We shouldn't just say "So what?"