Sen. Inhofe says reports are wrong about his stock sales

Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe responded to reports that he was one for four Senators who made huge stock sales after a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing about the coronavirus by saying it was not true.

“The New York Times allegations are completely baseless and 100 percent false. I was not at the briefing on January 24. I was meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania,” said the Senator in a statement released by his office.

The reports indicated he made up to a $400,000 sale of investments after allegedly attending the briefing, which he did not attend.

“I do not have any involvement in my investment decisions. In December 2018, shortly after becoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I instructed my financial advisor to move me out of all stocks and into mutual funds to avoid any appearance of controversy. My advisor has been doing so faithfully since that time and I am not aware of or consulted about any transactions.”

The Senator’s office offered a breakdown of his investments. In December 2018, Inhofe’s portfolio was 100% equities.

As of February 2020, his portfolio is 60% funds, 40% equities. His advisor has not bought an individual stock on his behalf since December 2018.

According to U.S. Senate records, Sen. Inhofe reported sales of shares in five companies on Jan. 27. They included Danaher, a global science and technology company; Intuit, a firm that makes tax preparation software; Paypal, the online payment company; Apple which makes phones and computers; and Brookfield Asset Management. The sales were between $180,000 and $400,000.

Reports surfaced late in the week that Republican Senators Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and Inhofe along with democrat Dianne Feinstein had dumped stocks worth millions head of the financial markets plunge.

Burr Sold Up to $1.73M Worth Shares In Worst-Hit Businesses

North Carolina senator Burr, who is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold shares priced at anywhere between $628,000 to $1.73 million in 33 separate transactions on February 13, ProPublica reported.

As the intelligence chief, Burr is entitled to privileged information about matters related to America’s security and was receiving daily updates about the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19) globally, as Reuters noted earlier.

Burr and others in President Donald Trump administration had repeatedly assured the citizens of the country’s readiness for coronavirus in February and said the risk of the pandemic taking hold in the United States remained low.

 

Georgia senator Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, who is the Chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) together made about 29 transactions between late January and February. Out of these, all but two were sales involving millions of dollars, the Daily Beast reported.

The same day that Loeffler was attending a private all-senator briefing from Trump administration officials, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director and other health officials on January 24, she and her husband sold off the first of the shares, the Daily Beast noted. The first of these sales was their shares, worth anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 in a company called Resideo Technologies Inc. (NYSE: REZI), which has dropped more than 50% lower since late January.

The couple also sold stake worth between $250,000 to $500,000 in Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) in further sales. Loeffler took over as Georgia senator on January 6, filling a position vacated by retiring senator Johnny Isakson. The Daily Beast noted that she didn’t report a single sale of shares she owned until January 24, when she attended the first coronavirus-related briefing.

Loeffler took to Twitter early Friday to defend herself.

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

 

“Feinstein, one the longest-tenured Senate Democrats, sold at least $500,000 in shares of Allogene Therapeutics, a California biotechnology company, on Jan. 31 and at least $1 million in Allogene stock on Feb. 18, according to Senate records.” according to The Hill.

 

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