Reports GOP senators dumped stock spark calls to resign

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Published on March 20, 2020 - Duration: 02:00s

Reports GOP senators dumped stock spark calls to resign

Two Republican senators faced calls to resign on Friday over media reports they sold substantial amounts of stock before the global coronavirus-induced market meltdown after receiving private briefings on the outbreak.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.


Reports GOP senators dumped stock spark calls to resign

The head of the powerful U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is facing calls to resign on Friday after reports surfaced he sold off a significant amount of stock in February.

Just before the stock market began its precipitous decline due to coronavirus concerns.

The bombshell report by Propublica detailed how Republican Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina dumped up to $1.7 million in stocks in 33 different transactions, including shares of hotels and restaurants, some of the hardest hit industries amid the pandemic.

Burr's committee had been receiving daily updates on the outbreak.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FOX NEWS HOST TUCKER CARLSON: "Maybe there is an honest explanation for what he did.

If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately." The revelation provoked outrage from fellow conservatives.

Most notably Fox News host, Tucker Carlson.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FOX NEWS HOST TUCKER CARLSON: "Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading." Responding to the news reports Friday, Senator Burr on Twitter said: "I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13." He also said he has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to open a review of the matter.

But the GOP senator isn't the only one under fire for reportedly selling off shares.

In a separate Daily Beast report, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, a member of the Senate health committee, was also scrutinized for unloading millions of dollars worth of stock from January to February.

Loeffler wrote overnight on Twitter that she was informed of the transactions three weeks after they occurred, writing: "This is a ridiculous and baseless attack.

I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio.

Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisers without my or my husband's knowledge or involvement."

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