‘We all have to play by the rules, and if not we’ll have to face the consequences…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow slammed the U.S. senators who made questionable stock trades right before the markets crashed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“If it is proven that they’ve done something illegal or unethical, they will have to be significantly punished,” Kudlow told Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., in a livestream on Thursday. “I don’t put up with any of that nonsense.”
Last month, financial disclosures revealed that Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sold off significant stock shares only a few days after the Trump administration held a confidential briefing with senators about the coronavirus.
Burr and Loeffler were both reportedly in attendance, but Inhofe and Feinstein were not. Each of the senators has denied wrongdoing.
Burr and Loeffler have both endorsed a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, and Kudlow said that if the investigation reveals illicit insider trading, punishment should follow.
“In our great system of free enterprise, you have to play by the rules; everybody has to play by the rules … we all have to play by the rules, and if not we’ll have to face the consequences,” he said.
McSally said she agreed: “If these allegations are true,” she said, “they need to be held accountable.”
Loeffler has insisted that all of her stock trades are made by an independent commission responsible for her accounts. But just last week it was reported that her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, recently acquired as much as $415,000 stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that manufactures protective equipment that is in high demand due to the coronavirus.
“I think it deserves an extra amount of scrutiny because when she did the first round of sales after she got nonpublic information, she also bought a stock in a telecommuting company,”said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed a Senate ethics complaint against Loeffler and Burr last month.