The Republican who took over the Senate Armed Services Committee following Senator John McCain’s death reportedly purchased thousands of dollars of defense stock after lobbying the Trump administration to increase defense spending.
CNN reported Thursday that Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma listed $50,000-$100,000 of Raytheon stock on his most recent Senate financial disclosure report.
The Daily Beast was the first to report on the stock purchase.
President Donald Trump recently agreed to a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, reversing his plans to shrink a $716 billion defense budget allocated in 2019 that he thought was too much money, calling it "crazy." Trump's decision came out of a meeting with Inhofe, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and the chairman of the House Armed Services committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. The listed date for the purchase was Tuesday, a week after the meeting.
In a statement to CNN, the lawmaker’s communications director Leacy Burke said Inhofe “was not aware of this stock purchase until it came through the system very early this morning."
"All of Sen. Inhofe's financial transactions are handled by a third-party adviser," Burke said. "The senator has had no involvement in and has not been consulted about his stock transactions."
Inhofe had his financial adviser reverse the transaction and never took ownership of the stock, according to Burke.
The Daily Beast noted that 20 minutes after it reached out for comment, Inhofe wrote a letter to his financial adviser with the instruction to "no longer purchase defense or aerospace companies as part of my financial holdings."