Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who sold millions worth of stock after a private briefing about the impending impact of the novel coronavirus, is dismissing the ensuing insider-trading scandal as a “socialist attack.”
“This is a political attack that is designed to distract from the issue at hand and to use this outbreak to play politics,” Loeffler said on Fox News on Friday. “We have addressed this and taken extraordinary measures to make sure we can’t be attacked for our success. This gets at the very heart of why I came to Washington, to defend free enterprise, to defend capitalism, and this is a socialist attack. We have taken extraordinary measures and I am focused solely on working for Georgians. I’ve been doing that seven days a week around the clock, and it’s my honor to be here and serve, and that’s why I stepped out of the private sector.”
Loeffler clarified that by “extraordinary measures,” she meant liquidating her shares — “to take that off the table as an attack area.” After initially dumping shares in companies that plummeted in value, Loeffler and her husband, who chairs the New York Stock Exchange, invested heavily in a medical supply company.
Loeffler faces a special election in November to retain her seat, and a pro-Trump Super PAC is supporting one of her Republican challengers, Rep. Doug Collins. There are also several Democrats in the race, which could decide which party controls the Senate.
Loeffler, the wealthiest member of Congress, is a co-owner of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream.