House Speaker Nancy Pelosi abruptly left her weekly press conference on Thursday when a reporter asked about her husband's controversial stock transactions.
Toward the end of the press conference, a reporter asked Pelosi whether her husband — Paul Pelosi — has ever made a stock transaction based on information she provided him.
The suggestion underlying the question is that the Pelosis, whose net worth is estimated to be over $100 million, have benefited from information to which Speaker Pelosi is privy as a high-ranking member of Congress.
"Over the course of your career has your husband ever made a stock purchase or sale based on information he has received from you?" the reporter asked.
Pelosi indicated that she was unable to hear the question, so she leaned over her lectern and asked the reporter to repeat his question. When she finally heard it, she immediately scoffed.
"No. Absolutely not," Pelosi shot back.
The speaker then folded down the microphone and walked away from the lectern.
The timing of the transaction raised eyebrows because Congress is considering bipartisan legislation that would provide $52 billion worth of taxpayer-funded subsidies to domestic companies in the semiconductor chip business. NVIDIA is a leading company in that market, although it does not fabricate semiconductor chips itself.
Speaker Pelosi's office responded to the transaction with a lengthy statement on Monday denying impropriety.
"The Speaker does not own any stocks. As you can see from the required disclosures, with which the Speaker fully cooperates, these transactions are marked ‘SP’ for Spouse," said spokesman Drew Hammill. "The Speaker has no prior knowledge or subsequent involvement in any transactions."
Pelosi has said she will support the semiconductor bill. The legislation could come up for a vote in the House as soon as next week.
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