Embattled Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) waved off the firestorm of controversy over stock trades she made following Senate coronavirus briefings, telling Fox News on Friday that the criticism she’s received is nothing more than a “socialist attack.”
Weeks after The Daily Beast reported that the Loeffler and her husband, New York Stock Exchange chief executive Jeff Sprecher, dumped up to $3.1 million in stock following a late January closed-door coronavirus briefing, Loeffler announced last week that the couple was liquidating their stock holdings amid accusations of insider trading. She has maintained that third-party advisers conducted the trades and she was not involved.
Noting that Loeffler had appeared on their program last month to deny any wrongdoing, America’s Newsroom co-anchor Sandra Smith asked Loeffler whether she and her husband had gone through with liquidating those stocks.
“Yes, and I’ve been very open about addressing all those questions,” the Georgia lawmaker and wealthy ex-CEO replied. “This is a political attack that is designed to distract from the issue at hand and to use this outbreak to play politics.”
Adding that the couple has taken “extraordinary measures” so that they “can’t be attacked for our success,” Loeffler then insisted that this was all an attempt by the left to take her down.
“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,” she declared. “We have taken extraordinary measures and I am focused solely on working for Georgians.”
Smith, however, didn’t push back on Loeffler’s claims that “socialists” are targeting her, instead asking for clarification on whether or not the couple had liquidated their shares, which the senator confirmed.
Loeffler blaming “socialism” for the backlash over her sketchy stock transactions belies the fact that many conservatives have taken aim at her over the issue. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, for instance, said earlier this month that Loeffler should resign if she knew about the stock trades.
Furthermore, a GOP group is appealing to rich Republican donors to anonymously donate in an effort to bring Loeffler down as she faces a primary challenge from Trump loyalist Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who has been outspoken in his criticism of the senator.