Fox News host Tucker Carlson confronted Sen. Kelly Loeffler over reports that she sold over $1 million in stocks after a Senate Health Committee coronavirus briefing in January.
The Georgia Republican had previously called the news “a ridiculous and baseless attack” and said that “investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisers without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.”
Appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday, Loeffler reiterated her claim that she had nothing to do with the trades. Carlson asked her “who specifically” made the decision for the stocks in her portfolio to be sold despite the strong market.
“That would be the financial advisers that are charged with conducting trades in our portfolios, which we don’t have a say over,” Loeffler said. “The most important thing is that I’m informed only after those trades are made. I have nothing in terms of a say in what buys and sells are executed, what that timing is, and I’m only advised after it happens, almost concurrent with the public reporting that we do here.”
Carlson then pointed out that she received notice of the stocks that were sold on Feb. 16, and, despite showing the sells, recorded a video reassuring the public that the economy was strong. Carlson showed a clip of the video and asked that if, in retrospect, she would have “hinted that maybe [the economy] is not fine.”
“This 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 stock transactions. I don’t want to have to explain my actions three months ago,” she said before being cut off.
“No, no, no. I’m sorry. With respect, this wasn’t three months ago. This was a month ago,” he said and pointed out that her past work in financial services would allow her to be able to “read a balance sheet.”
She responded by saying the moves were par for the course and that in some months, stocks are bought, and in others, they are sold, or a combination of the two.
Later in the interview, Carlson brought up Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who reportedly compared the coronavirus outbreak to the 1918 flu pandemic at an exclusive Feb. 27 luncheon after dumping between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings. As Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, he was receiving daily intelligence community briefings. Carlson asked if she thought he should keep his Senate seat.
“What message would that send to the country?” Carlson asked.
“Look, Tucker, I’m a political outsider. I’m here working to try to solve for coronavirus,” Loeffler said, adding that she couldn’t “predict where political outcomes may evolve to.”