Brown was heard on-camera telling Obama to push for passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, and said this morning that he had not planned to push Obama on the issue immediately after the State of the Union. Instead, he said his comments were a reaction to Obama's call for the legislation.

"So as he's walking by, I said, Mr. President, by the way, my insider-trading bill is ready to go. It's on [Senate Majority Leader] Harry ReidHarry ReidTop Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions MORE's desk," he said. "And I said, tell him to get it out. And then he says — looks me right in the eye, and says, 'I will, I'll tell him to get it out.' "

In his speech, Obama said he would sign the STOCK Act immediately in order to help restore public trust in Congress.

"Let's limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact," Obama said. "Let's make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can't lobby Congress, and vice versa — an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington."

The House plans to pass a tougher version of the STOCK Act next week.