Fox News host Tucker Carlson ended his program Thursday night by calling for Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to resign and face prosecution for insider trading if he can’t provide “an honest explanation” for dumping over $1 million of stock after he discovered the severity of the looming coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly before Carlson went on air Thursday night, ProPublica reported that after the Senate Intelligence Committee that Burr chairs began receiving daily briefings, he went on a Feb. 13 selling spree in which he sold up to $1.6 million of holdings. A week after he offloaded his stocks, which included shares in hotels and resorts, the market plummeted on coronavirus fears, and has since dropped more than 30 percent.
“He had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public,” the conservative Fox News host said in response to the report. “He didn’t give a primetime address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm.”
Carlson went on to note that Burr “didn’t even disavow” an op-ed he wrote in early February in which he claimed America was “better prepared for coronavirus than ever”—and instead dumped his hotel stocks.
“Then he stayed silent,” Carlson stated. “Maybe there is an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading.
“There is no greater moral crime than betraying your country in a time of crisis,” Carlson concluded. “And that appears to be what happened.”
As Carlson was calling on Burr to step down, The Daily Beast published a report showing Burr wasn’t the only well-briefed senator to dump stock before the crash. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) began selling millions in stocks following a late-January, all-senators briefing from administration officials on COVID-19.
Besides selling off his shares before the market tanked, Burr also warned a small group of North Carolina constituents in a social club luncheon three weeks ago to prepare for dire economic and social impacts of the virus, according to a secret recording obtained by NPR. On the same day Burr was warning the North Carolina socialites, President Donald Trump claimed that the virus was “going to disappear,” adding that it could be “like a miracle.”