Fox News host Tucker Carlson leveled a scorching rebuke of Sen. Richard Burr after a report claiming he had sold off more than a million dollars of his personal stock before a sharp decline in the market.
Carlson slammed the North Carolina Republican during “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday, calling for him to resign and “face prosecution for insider trading.”
(Source: Fox News)
A report published Thursday accused Burr of warning private donors about the serious threat the coronavirus posed, with leaked audio from a February meeting which occurred as President Donald Trump was telling Americans the viral outbreak that originated in China was nothing to be alarmed about in the U.S.
Burr blasted the NPR report for “knowingly and irresponsibly” misrepresenting his remarks in a speech to a group of GOP fundraisers, defending himself in a series of tweets on Thursday.
But the Senate Intelligence chairman did not address a separate ProPublica report that alleged he had sold nearly $1.7 million from his personal stock portfolio in February, before disruptions in the market, and while he was assuring his constituents that there was no reason to panic.
“He had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening,” Carlson said Thursday in a commentary at the end of his show.
“But he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime time address, didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed that he’d written just ten days before claiming America was “better prepared than ever for coronavirus,'” Carlson continued.
“He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money,” Carlson said. “And then he stayed silent.”
According to CNN:
On February 13, Burr and his wife sold between $628,000 and $1.7 million in stock in 33 transactions, according to Senate financial disclosure records. Burr and his spouse also sold between $80,000 and $200,000 of stock on January 31, and purchased between $16,000 and $65,000 of stock on February 4. The majority of the sales were from Burr’s wife, the records show, between $520,000 and $1.2 million.
Carlson briefly gave the GOP lawmaker the benefit of the doubt, saying, “maybe there is an honest explanation for what he did.”
“If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately,” he suggested.
“Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading,” he added. “There is no greater moral crime than betraying your country in a time of crisis.”
Burr’s stock was allegedly sold off just one week before the Dow Jones dropped by 30 percent, according to ProPublica.
“Senator Burr filed a financial disclosure form for personal transactions made several weeks before the U.S. and financial markets showed signs of volatility due to the growing coronavirus outbreak,” his spokesman said in a statement, according to CNN. “As the situation continues to evolve daily, he has been deeply concerned by the steep and sudden toll this pandemic is taking on our economy.”
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