Kudlow slams senators who allegedly traded stock before pandemic

Kudlow slams senators who allegedly traded stock before pandemic
© Aaron Schwartz

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE slammed U.S. senators who allegedly traded stock before a massive coronavirus outbreak in the United States during a tele-town hall hosted by Arizona Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallySchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R) Thursday evening.  

“If it is proven that they’ve done something illegal or unethical, they will have to be significantly punished,” Kudlow said. “I don’t put up with any of that nonsense.”

Last month, financial disclosures allegedly revealed Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrThe 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal Senators say they have deal on 'major issues' in infrastructure talks MORE (R-N.C.), Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerSchumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Trump says Herschel Walker will enter Georgia Senate race WNBA announces zero COVID-19 positive tests, 99 percent fully vaccinated MORE (R-Ga.), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGillibrand expects vote on military justice bill in fall The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden backs Cuban protesters, assails 'authoritarian regime' Trump getting tougher for Senate GOP to ignore MORE (R-Okla.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinNearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children MORE (D-Calif.) sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a briefing on Jan. 24 with administration officials on the coronavirus outbreak. Both Inhofe and Feinstein later said that they were not present at the briefing.

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After facing multiple calls for his resignation — including from conservative commentator Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonDon Lemon defends Tucker Carlson amid confrontation video Fox News blasts 'ambush' of Carlson at Montana fly-fishing store Psaki says Biden admin 'needs' Fox News in order to fight vaccine misinformation MORE — Burr called for an ethics investigation into his own stock trading. 

Kudlow, a former Wall Street economist and Reagan staffer, said that if the senators partook in illicit trading, the they should be disciplined. 

“In our great system of free enterprise, you have to play by the rules; everybody has to play by the rules ... we all have to play by the rules, and if not we’ll have to face the consequences,” he said. 

McSally agreed with the White House economist. 

“Larry, I couldn’t agree with you more. If these allegations are true, they need to be held accountable,” McSally said.

On Tuesday, it was reported Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) purchased stock in a company that produces personal protective equipment as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread in the U.S. However, an official for Perdue said that he was not at the Jan. 24 briefing, and mentioned that the senator has not been involved in his personal finances since taking office. 

Updated 9:51 p.m.