Nancy Pelosi refused to sit down with “60 Minutes” for an upcoming story on her personal stock portfolio while considering legislation that related to those investments. But reporter Steve Kroft wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided, then, to infiltrate a regular-scheduled press briefing on Capitol Hill and ask his questions there, in front of everyone.
Shortly beforehand, Kroft had asked Pelosi a much more specific question during her news conference: Why had she and her husband participated in March 2008 in “a very large” initial public offering “from Visa at a time when there was major legislation affecting credit card companies making its way through the House?”
Visa’s IPO was one of the largest, with more than 400 million shares offered. Investors laid out more than $17 billion for the stock at the time.
Pelosi responded by pointing to the various protections for credit cardholders that Congress has passed since the financial crisis in the past few years, particularly New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, which was so unpopular with the credit card industry that “they spent $3 million trying to defeat her last time.”
“First of all, what you’re contending is not true,” Pelosi said. “Second of all, we are very proud of our record of what happened.”
Video of the incident went viral on Thursday:
Pelosi supporters will be happy to know that she wasn’t Kroft’s only target. He also quizzed current Speaker John Boehner. Again from Politico:
“I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities of my account and haven’t for years. I do not do it, haven’t done it and wouldn’t do it,” Boehner said, in response to Kroft’s question about his trading health care stocks during consideration of legislation dealing with the industry.
When Kroft asked whether House members should be able to trade stocks when Washington is considering legislation that could affect such stocks, Boehner replied, “I think there are plenty of rules of the House and certainly rules from the SEC that members should follow and I believe do follow.”
Pelosi’s office told Politico that “60 Minutes” told them its upcoming report is based on a book by conservative writer Peter Schweizer, who serves as a fellow at the Hoover Institution. His previous books include, “Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy” and “Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy – and How They Will Do It Again if No One Stops Them.”
“60 Minutes” declined to comment, as it refrains from doing so regarding current reporting.