Forty-eight hours ago, The New York Times and the Daily Beast reported that, soon after a closed-door briefing of U.S. Senators by administration officials on January 24 about the devastating impact on the economy by the growing coronavirus, four of the lawmaker sold substantial amounts of their investments in the stock market.
Amid growing cries of “insider trading,” there have even been calls in the press and among politicians for the resignations of Republican Sens. Richard Burr, N.C., Kelly Loeffler, Ga., and Jim Inhofe, Okla, and Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein of Calif..
One of the four, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Inhofe, has begun to hit back — and hard.
In a statement to reporters Friday night, Inhofe called the allegations in the Times “completely baseless and 100 percent false.”
The Oklahoman pointed out that he was not even at the session January 24 but instead “meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania.”
He then went on to repeat what sources close to Inhofe have said about him for years — that he does not “have any involvement in my investment decisions” and this is handled exclusively by his family’s financial advisor.
Inhofe recalled how upon assuming the helm at the Armed Services Committee in December 2018, he instructed his financial advisor to “move me out of all stocks and into mutual funds” and thus 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,” he emphasized. According to Inhofe’s office, his portfolio has gone from 100 percent equities in December 2018 to 60 percent mutual funds and 40 percent equities last month.
According to the senator’s staff, his advisor “has not bought an individual stock on his behalf since December 2018.”
At 85 and now Oklahoma’s longest-serving U.S. Senator, Inhofe is considered a cinch for re-election this fall.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.