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Senator Burr's shameless stock sales erode trust in government: Our view

At times of crisis, we expect government leaders to lead, not to look out for their own interests.

Several senators appear to have failed that basic test, with Richard Burr, R-N.C., topping the list.

Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold a significant part of his stock holdings, between $598,000 and $1.62 million on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions, according to financial disclosure reports.

Among the stocks Burr dumped were hospitality companies Wyndham and Extended Stay America, which are down by more than half since Burr sold. Also: Park Hotels, a real estate investment trust, recently spun off from Hilton, that owns hotel properties. It’s down 70%.

Sens. Thad Cochran and Richard Burr share a laugh as they walk off the Senate floor following a vote at the U.S. Capitol on July 26, 2017.

At the same time, Burr was reassuring the public about the government’s ability to respond to the coronavirus. Two weeks later, on Feb. 27, he began to tell a different story, but first only to a select group that included high-dollar donors at a meeting in his home state.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., unloaded as much as $400,000 — also a significant portion of his holdings — in five separate companies after receiving a special briefing on the coronavirus.

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