Fox News host Tucker Carlson confronted Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) on Friday over accusations that she used privileged knowledge obtained in her capacity as a United States senator to profit in the stock market.
Loeffler and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly sold stock equities worth millions of dollars between the end of January and mid-February, coinciding with a closed-door Senate briefing about the coming impact that coronavirus would have on the American economy. The financial transactions were uncovered Thursday night, leading to bipartisan condemnation and accusations of insider trading.
Loeffler strongly denied the accusations, claiming that her financial advisers — experts she pays to manage her stock portfolio — are responsible for making the transactions, which she said were not made based on insider information.
On his show Friday night, Carlson grilled Loeffler on "who specifically made that decision" to sell the stocks and "on what basis" the decision was made.
The Republican senator, who has only been in office since January, did not directly respond to the question, instead explaining that her financial advisers made the decision. She said she did not "have a say" over the financial transactions, and explained that she was informed of the transactions "only after the trades [were] made."
"I have nothing, in terms of a say, in what buys and sells are executed [and] what that timing is," Loeffler said.
Carlson then confronted Loeffler over a public video she made in mid-February in which she told the public they should not worry about COVID-19, which at the time was exploding in China.
"In retrospect, you think maybe you should have hinted it was maybe not fine, obviously, just by your portfolio, you should know that, right?" Carlson asked.
"The situation has dramatically changed in the space of three months. I think none of us could have predicted where we would be today, and I think that's why it's important that I'm not involved in the stock transactions," Loeffler responded. "I don't want to have to explain my actions three months ago that I don't need to take—"
"No, no, no, no no, no, hold on," Carlson interjected. "I'm sorry, with respect, this wasn't three months ago, this was a month ago. .. did it trip any bells for you? You can read a balance sheet."
However, Loeffler again did not directly answer the question, even after Carlson confronted her with the fact that she was informed of her stock sell off before telling the public they should not worry about the U.S. economy.
"I'm just wondering about the broader question of assuring the public that the economy is fine and coronavirus can be managed when, of course given your position, you know that that's not true," Carlson said.
Tucker: Senator Burr sold shares after virus briefing youtu.be