Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak
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Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney threw the same day Trump said the economy was "fantastic" during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Daily Beast reported that Mulvaney had unloaded between $ 215,000 and $ 550,000 on March 4, when the first US coronavirus deaths were reported and the number of confirmed cases continued to increase.
That day, President Trump said to Fox News presenter Sean Hannity: "Our economy is doing great. The numbers are coming out very well. The consumer in the United States is incredibly strong, stronger than ever, I believe."
There is no evidence that Mulvaney reacted to inside information in its stock transactions.
However, his actions underline the sharp discrepancy between the government's public assurances about the health of the US economy and what is going on behind the curtains.
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Mick Mulvaney, former President Donald Trump's chief of staff, tossed up to $ 550,000 in stocks on the same day Trump assured the public that the economy was doing "fantastic" during the Corona virus outbreak, The Daily Beast reported.
"Our economy is doing great," Trump said on March 4 to Fox News prime time commentator Sean Hannity when the first virus-related deaths were announced and the number of confirmed cases continued to increase.
"The numbers are coming out very well," said the President. "The US consumer is incredibly strong, stronger than ever, I think."
On that day, Mulvaney dumped $ 215,000 to $ 550,000 of publicly traded securities, The Daily Beast reported, citing ethical papers the former chief of staff filed last month. Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which, according to paperwork, consists primarily of US stocks.
The value of mutual funds recovered the next day, although they have since recovered amid the market recovery. There is no evidence that Mulvaney made his trading decisions based on internal information or information he learned from his role in the U.S. government.
However, his actions underscore the sharp discrepancy between the government's public assurances about the health of the US economy and what happened behind the scenes.
In addition to representatives of the Trump administration, a number of republican lawmakers were scrutinized to paint what critics describe as a misleading picture of the country's readiness for the outbreak.
In particular, North Carolina's Senator Richard Burr will be examined to see if he dumped up to $ 1.72 million in stock on February 13 after telling the public that the White House was good at dealing be prepared with the new corona virus.
At the time, Burr was chairman of the Senate's powerful intelligence committee, which has access to the federal government's most secret and sensitive information.
According to Reuters, the Burr committee received daily information about the corona virus threat when it dropped its shares, although a source familiar with the matter previously told CNN that the committee received no information the week Burr sold its shares .
In a statement released for Fox News on February 7, Burr and Republican Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee admitted that the Americans were "rightly concerned about the coronavirus" when the number of cases in China was skyrocketing.
However, the senators added that "The United States is now better prepared than ever for emerging public health threats such as the corona virus, largely due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump administration."
According to Burr's financial disclosure form, he began stock dumping on February 13, six days after the report was released. He made 33 transactions and unloaded shares in various companies valued at $ 1,001 to $ 100,000.
Burr defended his actions the day after ProPublica first reported stock sales and said in a statement: "I only relied on public news to make my decision to sell stocks on February 13th, specifically I did CNBC's daily health is closely tracking science reporting from its Asia offices at the time. "
He added: "When I understood the assumption that many could make after the fact, I spoke to the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee this morning and asked him to open a full review of the matter with full transparency."
ProPublica's report was released hours after NPR reported that it had received a record in which Burr raised serious concerns about the corona virus against members of a private club in Washington.
Shortly after the ProPublica report was released, the FBI began to investigate whether Burr and other lawmakers selling shares in a similar period - Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Kelly Loeffler, and Jim Inhofe - were doing insider trading.
The investigation against Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe has since ended after the public prosecutor's office has not found sufficient evidence of a violation of the law. Burr is still under investigation. Until the end of the investigation, he resigned as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio serves as the panel's provisional head.
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