The executive branch is required by law to complete an annual economic report that is delivered to Congress. The Trump administration released its 2019 Economic Report on March 19, 2019.
The 711-page report is meant to detail the president’s economic agenda. The report includes information about healthcare markets, tax cuts, regulatory measures, ideas for reducing poverty, and the overall health of the economy. But buried far down in the report, on page 624, there is a list of the White House “interns” who helped to put together the report.
We’ve included a screenshot of the section. Check it out: it includes the names of superheroes and their alter egos, as well as other fictional characters!
The list of “interns” include superheroes: Peter Parker (Spiderman), Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Steve Rogers (Captain America). “Aunt May” is listed as well; whoever included her didn’t even bother to add a surname!
J. T. Hutt appears to be a reference to the Star Wars character Jaba The Hutt. John Cleese is from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Kathryn Janeway is a fictional character from the television series “Star Trek: Voyager.” And Game of Thrones fans will notice John Snow on that list as well; however, as fans will also quickly notice, HBO spells the popular character’s name ‘Jon.’ (President Trump has posted tweets that included GOT references, such as “The Wall is Coming” and about tariffs).
Could someone have inserted the names as a prank? It’s possible. But to include fictional names in an official government report is certainly out of the ordinary.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers took to Twitter to explain what had happened as the report began to circulate on social media. They indicated that including the superhero names had been intentional to draw attention to their team of interns. “Thank you for noticing, our interns are indeed super heroes! We’ve thought so all along, but we knew it’d take a little more to get them the attention they deserve. They have made significant contributions to the Economic Report of the President and do so every day at CEA.”
A few minutes later, the handle followed up with another tweet: “Did folks really think this was a mistake?!? That would never have made it past our fact-checkers — who, in fact, include our interns!”
We’ve embedded the full report below, or you can see the report on the White House website here.