Sen. Kelly Loeffler Defends Shady Stock Dump After Private Senate Meeting On Coronavirus

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) takes her seat for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on March 3, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Early Friday morning, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) denied any wrongdoing when she sold millions of dollars worth of stocks soon after a closed-door briefing with the entire Senate on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the stock market.

“This is a ridiculous and baseless attack,” the senator said in a statement after the Daily Beast reported on the sales. “I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.”

Loeffler sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which held a private briefing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the coronavirus for all senators on January 24.

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that she sold a stock valued at $50,001 and $100,000 that same day, and she proceeded to make 26 stock transactions in sales until mid-February.

News of the senator’s stock sales came shortly after ProPublica published a report on fellow GOP colleague Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) astonishing stock dump of $1.6 million on February 13. As the chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Burr received frequent briefings on the coronavirus outbreak, and his committee had co-hosted the all-Senate briefing on January 24.

On Friday, Burr issued a statement claiming he had relied “solely on public news reports” when he chose to sell the stocks.

“Specifically, I closely followed CNBC’s daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time,” he said.

“Understanding the assumption many could make in hindsight however, I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency,” the North Carolina Republican added.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: