Report: Kelly Loeffler Sold Travel Shares Ahead of Trump's European Flight Ban
Senator Kelly Loeffler continues receiving criticism over her stock transactions during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis, with reports now showing that the Georgia Republican sold shares of an online travel company just before President Donald Trump announced his European travel ban.
According to Bloomberg, Loeffler sold a total of $46,027 worth of stocks in Booking Holdings on March 10 and 11, which she had purchased just days earlier with her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, the chief executive officer of Intercontinental Exchange, parent firm of the New York Stock Exchange.
The company “provides online bookings for flights, hotels and other travel-related services, all of which have collapsed because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report noted.
Loeffler and her husband purchased the shares on March 6 — the day the senator traveled with the president to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for a coronavirus response update — and sold them less than a week later just ahead of the travel ban announcement.
While the sales were smaller than some of the other transactions Loeffler and Sprecher made during February and March, they further fuel criticism that the senator has engaged in shady behavior.
Still, Loeffler and her representatives maintain that nothing unethical took place and that outside financial professionals manage her portfolio.
“These transactions are consistent with historical portfolio activity and include a balanced mix of buys and sells,” said spokesman Stephen Lawson. “Her stock portfolio is managed independently by third-party advisors, and she is notified” after transactions occur, he added.
In a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Loeffler decried the scrutiny as “fake news”.
“So, all of these stories that you are seeing attacking me are nothing but fake news. These are politically motivated attacks that prey on the fears of Americans during a global pandemic,” she said.