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Feb 27th: Some US Republicans knew what was coming, and didn’t warn the people

Traitors to the people?

Some in the Republican Party knew what was coming. At least four Senators in the US are being accused of insider trading, selling stocks before the crash, but not warning the public or making sure the US was prepared. Senator Richard Burr sold something like a million dollars in their own stocks on Feb 13th. At private briefings his message was that this virus was aggressive, more like the Spanish Flu, “the military might be mobilized”. Burr was probably more aware than most because he “helped to write the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA).”

On the other hand Senator Loeffer says she was not involved in choosing the stocks that were sold on her portfolio. But others say  some of these blind trusts sold shares the same day the Senators were briefed in some cases as early as Jan 24th. The Senators claim they were only acting on public news services. Possibly, even if they knew, they may have been bound by some Party ruling not to contradict the President.

Rod Dreher, The American Conservative “They Knew, And Didn’t Tell Us”

Think about it: Trump certainly knew how bad it was going to get, but kept on downplaying it, at a time when being straightforward would have given people time and impetus to prepare. Trump’s most loyal backers then were calling it a hoax, and dunking on people like me for hyping panic, and so forth. This top Senate Republican (and no doubt other Senate Republicans) knew that the president was misleading the public, and said nothing. If he felt comfortable telling wealthy donors about this, why didn’t he tell the general public? Because it would contradict the president’s messaging? Why?

Having senior Republican lawmakers contradicting the president at that relatively early stage, based on information they knew, would have been in the country’s best interest. Sen. Burr told rich, well-connected supporters what was coming, but not the people who elected him. He owes them an explanation. And I would like to know why the Senate Republicans, all of whom surely had the same information, did not challenge the president, and warn the public while we still had time.

…To be honest, it’s not [Burr's] stock-selling that bothers me — it’s that he had reason to believe the coronavirus crisis was going to be a lot worse than he was letting on in public. He ought to have been warning us all.

Has Trump thrown away the 2020 election?

Which day did he realize the trainwreck was coming?

Weeks Before Virus Panic, Intelligence Chairman Privately Raised Alarm, Sold Stocks

by Tim Mak, NPR

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee warned a small group of well-connected constituents three weeks ago to prepare for dire economic and societal effects of the coronavirus, according to a secret recording obtained by NPR.

The remarks from U.S. Sen. Richard Burr were more stark than any he had delivered in more public forums.

On Feb. 27, when the United States had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, President Trump was tamping down fears and suggesting that the virus could be seasonal.

“It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle. It will disappear,” the president said then, before adding, “it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens.”

On that same day, Burr attended a luncheon held at a social club called the Capitol Hill Club. And he delivered a much more alarming message.

Burr sold personal stocks worth between $628,000 and $1.72 million in 33 separate transactions on a single day, February 13th, according to public disclosures.

See also this

Is anyone even researching this sort of thing in Australia?

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Rating: 9.4/10 (22 votes cast)
Feb 27th: Some US Republicans knew what was coming, and didn't warn the people, 9.4 out of 10 based on 22 ratings

49 comments to Feb 27th: Some US Republicans knew what was coming, and didn’t warn the people

  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    Tinfoil hat time. Trump’s approval numbers are through the roof. Dems and nevertrumpers are getting worried so let’s throw some BS at the wall and see what sticks. US politics stinks to high heaven.


    • #
      Andrew McRae

      The discrepancies in stories about Trump’s handling of the issue are enough to make one believe in a macroscopic “many worlds” interpretation of quantum theory. Take the White House team as an example.


      Claim: The Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs.
      Rating: True


      VERDICT: Partly false.
      Former National Security Advisor John Bolton “dissolved” the pandemic office but staff remained to deal with the issue.

      Ultimately, the argument is about whether the office should have been kept as a separate unit, or whether its functions could be done just as well by employees working in other parts of the organizational structure.

      So Trump did and did not fire the Pandemic Response Team. Its Schroedinger’s Media.

      Click through for the details if you dare, but each of these biased sources is omitting relevant facts. Breitbart says nothing about Bossert, and Snopes says nothing about the other technical staff being retained.
      Looks like the claim is mostly false, but not entirely false, which Politifact also found.


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Jo I am very wary of commenting on USA politics.
      I lived there in the USA for a while, in the backwoods of Virginia, a nice part of the world!
      But the USA is a different place to here with it’s own legal framework, regulations and customs.
      Speaking while ignorant of this whole dimension, would be pure arrogance.

      BUT…. USA pollies like here, are elected to serve the people, not themselves.
      So insider trading on the basis of information provided to elected senators is pretty damnable.


      • #
        robert rosicka

        From what I’ve seen it’s not uncommon for senators who are privy to certain info taking advantage through the sharemarket stocks .
        It seems there is either no enforcement of rules or no rules if your a politician and this happens regardless of what political party they’re in .
        Does this make it right no and any politician engaged in this sort of behaviour needs time in a small room .


        • #
          David A

          Bill and Andrew, all true.

          My initial reaction to Jo’s post is that it is fairly uninformed about US politics. The CDC hated P Trump before he was elected, and it is Obama’s CDC appointed which entirely dropped the ball on testing in the US.

          The staff reduction was to get the CDC focused on U.S. preventive measures and to eliminated duplicate purpose repetitive functions. Just throwing money at a situation is beyond wasteful, often counter productive.

          There was no shortage of adequet personnel or money. Regarding testing there was and is, within the CDC tremendous neglect at best. Also there is clear evidence of lies to P Trump from the CDC.

          P. Trump, at a time when WHO, the CDC, and the media were very critical of travel bans, nevertheless did them. At the SAME time his public comments were calming, and expressed concern overpanic. Additionally it was minutes after a meeting with the CDC that P Trump made the flu comment, stating he was surprised and shocked at how many American’s died from the flu each year. ( The CDC put this idea in his ear).

          Additionally the CDC misinformed him about test kit availability. ( Misinformed is a polite word).
          Since then P. Trump has removed buracratic snafus to the process, freed the private sector from CDC only production, and turned lose the private industry to literally lead the CDC by the nose to get tests out.


          • #

            David A. Not pretending to be an authority on US politics. Posting because it is extraordinary and knowing readers will be interested.

            Hoping US readers will fill out the story with links for sources.

            Trumps score: 26,000 cases increasing at 30% per day when it could have stopped so easily.

            I am amazed he dropped the ball after such a strong start. But obviously the CDC also dropped the ball.

            If they misled him, share the link and the story. That’s how we beat the MSM bias.


            • #

              I had no inside information, yet I saw something coming and significantly increased my cash position as I fled California as a climate policy refugee (just the ‘green’ energy generation surcharge on my PGE bill is more than I pay for electricity in Nevada, natural gas is less than half the price per therm and the gasoline is much cheaper even as the tanker trucks are coming from California refineries). To be clear, I wasn’t expecting a such a large drop in the market, because had I known that, I would have put everything into short positions instead of cash.

              I would also like to dispute the idea that Trump could have stopped the spread in the US. In fact, he slowed it down significantly by being an early adopter of travel advisories and restrictions despite the persistent claims of xenophobia from the political left and its MSM partners. The real problems were that China was too slow to admit how bad it really was and that it’s hard to get massive bureaucracies to turn on a dime.

              Neither Trump nor the CDC has dropped the ball. Testing, the availability of PPE and hospital beds are expanding quite rapidly as a result of their actions and Trump has been working hard with Congress to get some economic aid passed; after all, he’s not a dictator. Keep in mind that the political left and the MSM in the US see this as an opportunity to steal the election from Trump in November. With a strong economy, they know there’s no chance whatsoever, so they actually wants to stretch this out until it gets much closer to the election. The Democrats in Congress keep stalling progress on an aid bill by insisting on piggy backing far left wishes into the bill that would otherwise have no chance of passing on merit. They basically want something in return for an aid package that would prevent the economic collapse they need for a chance to steal a win in November.

              As testing increases, the fatality rate keeps dropping and looks like it will end up not being much worse than a typical flu or cold, which are also frequently fatal to people with underlying medical conditions. It’s also becoming even more apparent that many are infected with little to no symptoms. The real problem is that it seems to be much more contagious then a typical influenza flu.


    • #
      Peter C

      Has Trump thrown away the 2020 election?

      I doubt that. Trumps seems to have neutralised the MSM in America.

      They can say what they like but who is listening?


  • #
    john karajas

    Regarding selling of shares/stocks: I am thoroughly pissed off at the amount of short-selling that’s been happening and the effect it’s having on our superannuation. But get this—-superannuation funds have been lending shares to the short sellers, in the process enabling huge amounts of wealth destruction, and acting against the interests of their account holders.

    Firstly: I would like the practice of short selling to be immediately banned.

    Secondly: directors of funds that have been lending to short sellers to be charged with criminal negligence.


    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      They lend them John, but not without a fee. And that fee goes into your superfund and helps build your return. The superfund doesn’t lose. It gets the shares back at the end of the loan term (or the cash equivalent).

      If anybody loses, it’s the short seller. If he gets it wrong he’s cactus. But the shares always return to the lender.


      • #
        john karajas

        Oh right! So when the shares come back they are worth considerably less. A truly great situation in times of market meltdown, don’t you think? OK, the shares can regain their value after a few years but, in the meantime, an enormous amount of damage can have been caused to the recently retired for instance.


        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          No, John.

          If the lender thinks the shares are going to tank after he’s lent them, he can short the market himself. Take a put option on the same number of shares he loaned out.


    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Criminal negligence.

      No. Definitely not.

      It’s Criminal Complicity.

      In my opinion.


    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Our governments have sold the right to foreign interests again to engage in very fast trading.

      This allows the traders to buy and sell without paying commission and skim huge amounts regularly from the “market” on margins that would be impossible for ordinary people to get access to.

      The pretext is that it provides fluidity for the market???????

      Which then makes it not a market.

      Government is not looking after us at all!!!



  • #
    a happy little debunker

    The stock market only began to tank because of an oil price war initiated between the OPEC nations and Russia.

    The MSM managed to diminish confidence in the US money markets by linking initial losses directly to Covid 19 – which they further damaged by breathlessly reporting that diminishing confidence – turning the downturn into a rout.

    Is there any suggestion that the ‘insider trading’ was related to any briefings involving OPEC or Russia?

    I really don’t mind people blowing smoke up my butt – but only if they ask & ask nicely.


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Irrelevant to Jo’s post about insider trading by USA senators !

      Is it maybe possible for folks to stay on topic here ?

      Or is that just good manners to be ignored to defend a political friend ?


  • #
    Rick Kinsman

    Ah… yesss… Tim Mak. The “investigative jurno”, never-Trumper who was one of the very first to break the (Fake) news of the collusion of the NRA and the Trump camp with the Russians. Long since totally debunked after three investigations over two and a half years. An inveterate liar and fabricater of conspiracy theories.

    Take anything he says with a large pinch of salt.


    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Exactly right. But increase the dose.

      These pollies would most likely be in “Blind trusts” with their portfolios managed by an arms-length entity.

      The trading history over a full 12 month period needs to be examined to see if this activity was a “one off” or consistent with the established buy/sell behaviour of the managers of the portfolio.

      If it were a “one-off” then maybe there’s an issue. If not, then it’s just more fake news and claptrap from the left-leaning USA MSM.


  • #
    Kneel 8250

    Just wait a few days until we find out how many Democrats are involved also.
    Very strange how it only involves Republicans.



    • #

      Dianne Feinstein (A California Democratic Senator) was also implicated, but her name seems to be omitted by much of the MSM in their articles about insider trading. They excuse her while pillorying any Republican accused of the same thing. It’s the usual double standard that we have come to expect from an MSM that has so clearly taken such extremely politically biased positions, it reminds me of Pravda.


  • #

    john karajas

    nothing to do with short-selling, everything to do with people not working and not making money — government is asked to close down country.

    a happy little debunker
    The stock market only began to tank because of an oil price war initiated between the OPEC nations and Russia.

    demand for oil is down — and supply is not limited — that is why price is falling and that is good for people who are traveling, delivering …


    • #
      el gordo

      Its reasonable to think their impulse was from the oil shock and not the virus.


    • #
      el gordo

      On second thought, they look guilty of insider trading, its the ugly face of capitalism.

      ‘Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler was also at the meeting with Burr. Loeffler sold stocks valued at around $1.275 million to $3.1 million in an apparent effort to avoid potential losses. She also purchased stocks in two companies that were deemed to benefit from the coronavirus, including one in a company that offers teleconferencing software, which would help people who are working remotely from home.’



    • #
      john karajas

      max: if you think that short sellers do not have an influence on stock market crashes you haven’t been around the financial markets long enough.


      • #

        Short sellers do have an influence on stock market crashes but probably not in the way you think. Unless the stock falls and collapses when the shorts are made, shorting actually supports share prices during a collapse as the covering provides demand when the stock price would otherwise be in free fall (very few will try to ride a stock down to zero). This can slow and even arrest a fall if some confidence returns.


    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Not entirely sure about that.


  • #

    Woolies are asking customers to pay with tap’n go instead of cash. I wonder if they’ll also ask customers to use their card for transactions over $100? If I can’t pay with cash and have to use a contaminated keypad I may as well buy less than $100 worth of groceries from Woolies and spend more at the independent supermarkets – which I should anyway I s’pose.
    The government would love seeing this happening – another step toward a cashless economy.


  • #

    That’s nonsense.

    I remember the real reason the stocks plummeted suddenly was the impasse on oil. All energy stocks were hit. Very few people at the time believed that we would have another Spanish flu. That was a slowly developing realization which only hit most people in the last two weeks. It was and remains unbelievable. The world has seen nothing like it for 102 years.

    So when Trump closed the border with China, everyone criticized. When he closed with Europe. Everyone criticized, especially the head of the EU. When he called it a ‘Chinese virus’, even people who called it Wuhan or Chinese took umbrage and called him a racist.

    Now Trump is supposed to be a financial opportunist? If he has a fault, he is a true optimist but he did what Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Scott Morrison, Jacinda Ahern, Macron, Erdogan and all the rest refused to do. Shut the doors. And he has been soundly attacked by Biden and Sanders and the Press for closing the borders. Xenophobic. Even Imran Khan of Pakistan criticized him.

    No one believed Donald Trump, least of all the Democrats. And possibly his own Republicans. He is the outsider, not one of them.

    Now in just 48 hours the Democratic governors of California, Illinois and New York have agreed with him and have told everyone to stay at home, closing all business! And Mayor De Blasio of New York and the Mayor of Chicago simultaneously criticized Trump.

    And the one issuing the warnings and standing up to the lot in January and February and March was Donald Trump. He has walked away from his busines and donates his $400K salary to charity. Now he is a businessman? No.

    As for the Republicans playing the market, it’s one thing to expect stocks to drop but another to get the day right. That’s dumb luck! It has been a gradual process, based more on the refusal of the Russians to play ball and the decision by the Saudis to declare economic war on the world. Events blend into each other, but that’s how I remember it.

    Still it seems a good story and it is about evil Republicans and even evil Donald, so it gets airplay. Can we get back to the real story, stopping SARS-2?

    Trump has been roundly criticized for being an optimist while playing hard ball in what he has done. Even his optimism has been criticized for deceiving the public on a much worse situation. It just goes to show, if your name is Donald Trump, you cannot win favorable publicity from a press and celebrities and even Washington who hate your very existence.


    • #

      A lot of people sold stocks on that day, which is why they went down. And the stocks have been boom and bust and boom and bust for two weeks now.

      In all this, smart players make money and others hang on. Marking money is what stockbrokers do for their clients. Computers even run ahead of the trends, moving stocks and optimizing holdings in fractions of a second.

      On a bigger scale, Donald has been talking up the market, pouring hundreds of billions in to stabilize the situation and yes, fortunes will have been made and lost. The amounts being talked about here are trivial. What Trump has been trying to do is prevent a 1918 Spanish flu while preventing a Depression to surpass 1928 and with no help from anyone.

      And if he even tries to sound positive and cheerful and gives hope, he is roundly criticized as giving ‘false hope’. I saw the video. He could only shake his head in disbelief.


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Go back and examine the time line TdeF
      You might get a surprise.
      Until 2 weeks ago there was global expectation that OPEC & the Russian oil block
      Would arrange the crude oil price at a ‘satisfactory’ level despite declining demand .
      Those expectations were dashed.

      Jo post is about what happened around Feb 13th to 27th.
      Ummmm ?


  • #

    Inhofe, the one Senator who has been fighting the AGW fraud, is listed as one of those trading advantageously.
    Did Inhofe “know what was coming, and fail to warn the people”?
    Or were the journalists just grabbing an opportunity to slate Inhofe out of context?


  • #
    robert rosicka

    I’m positive the yanks have the same pecuniary interest laws we do so surely it wouldn’t be hard to check which politicians started their careers with zip and are now multi millionaires.


    • #

      Or ,in the case of Bill Clinton, ended his political career with zip and is now a multi millionaire due to pecuniary interests involving his wife


  • #
    robert rosicka

    Well worth reading if you want to know how rich some senators actually are .


  • #
    The Depraved and MOST Deplorable Vlad the Impaler

    Most regulars here know that I am in Wyoming, on the other side of The Big Pond.

    While this story is still developing, know that I have a deep sense of disappointment at any and all who, by the early appearances, may have done some shady deals. The Senators (that we know about) are Inhofe, R-Oklahoma; Burr (not sure where he’s from); Loeffler, R-Georgia [and a sidebar, her husband is the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange ... ], and Feistein, D-California.

    Let us note, for the record, that US Senators and other elected officials have a nominal salary under $200K (US dollars) per year. It is NOT uncommon for any random elected Senator or Representative to arrive in the District of Columbia (your ACT) as a “commoner” (such as me; I earn about $30,000 US per year) and after a few years, or a few terms, be relatively “well off”, as in, ‘never having to work again’ due to various methods of achieving wealth.

    This is NOT a statement that it is right. It is simply a statement of what is. Personally, I’d love to have some wealth-building machinery at my disposal as well, but as of now, without some type of major overhaul (which will never happen), I do not foresee shutting off Congress’ “Standard Operating Procedure”.

    It was once common practice (1960′s to the 1980′s) for Congress to pass some law, or approve some regulation, and immediately exempt themselves from the law or regulation. The American public wised up, eventually, and this practice largely disappeared, until recently (read Nancy Pelosi as Speaker), when once again we’re seeing the old playbook put into action.

    Now, as to this, I think we’re looking at having just scratched the surface. I think there’s plenty of guilt to go around, and it is not just one party or the other. I’m disappointed, of course, that anyone would use their position to (apparently) engage in such activity, but quite frankly, I’m not surprised. It would be a most refreshing change to see some politician actually care about making things better for others, and not just themselves, but I’m not in favor of holding my breath, waiting for such an individual to come along.

    Should you happen to know of such an individual, please encourage them to seek public office, if they can take “the heat” they’ll be subjected to, by the “powers that be” (a.k.a. The Swamp).

    My Regards to all,



  • #

    I made this prediction on the 4th Feb… “I’m predicting a Corona-recession to hit the world in the next couple of months.”

    Now, If I had a large holding of shares… I definitely would have cashed them out in early February and I certainly don’t have any *insider* knowledge.

    It’s easy to point the finger at those who sold their holdings before the crash, but in reality it was quite apparent by early February that the coronavirus was going to cause significant economic damage globally and the stock market had to take a hit.

    I think this is simply a case of… the smart people cashed out and everyone else lost out.

    I think super fund managers have a lot to answer for… if an average-joe like me could see it coming, why couldn’t they?


    • #

      In the same way most of us could see the financial crash coming so we could see what the cv could do to the economy if there was an over reaction.

      Similarly if you tell me people to go into Isolation for weeksv then they will want to transfer the supermarket warehouse stock, where it is not accessible, to their own mini warehouse where they can control it.

      It’s all quite predictable


  • #
    Contemptible Blackguard

    Call me a hard ass, but people found to have immunity should be press-ganged into working where food is handled such as in packaging et cetera, so that the rest of us are not further endangered. All essential industries need workers who are no longer at risk, so if that means lawyers, other non-medical professionals,or chippies, anors being forced to work – then so be it. If I had immunity I would be more than happy to do such work. It’s all hands to the wheel for the greater good.

    When we have bush fires we have to put in and help, so its like that, but the results are far worse – it is a work or (Mass) death deal this time.

    Besides I would love to see big Dutto hard at it, as he looks like he needs to lose weight!

    The video attached shows an Industry (Ultra Violet lights to disinfect) that has to be ramped up super urgently by Govt (Fiat) expenditure to be used for all places where people meet, work – when we are finally allowed back.

    Check it out


  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    The short selling problems can, for the most part, be fixed by bringing back the tick rule.
    Short selling, like other hedging instruments, especially in commodities, developed originally
    as means of reducing risk for folks forced to trade and time constrained. Example: you are a hog farmer,
    and mama pig just gave you a dozen piglets in the farrowing house. You now know, plus or minus a few
    days, when they are gonna have to go to someone makin’ bacon, and have no idea what the market will be at that moment.
    Similar, but less obvious forcings impinge upon manufacturing. Opportunity is fugitive. Most of the
    abused processes in our financial market are essential to making large scale complex commerce work.
    People being clever and nasty, if there is a buck being made by abusing same, they will. The rules before electronic
    trading were more conservative.

    Insider trading, on the other hand, is a simple crime….sometimes hard to “prove” in court but like the famous judgement on
    pornography, we know it when we see it. And some of our legislators are guilty and should do the decent thing and resign.


  • #
    Faye Busch

    Don’t ever think that President Trump doesn’t know what’s going on. They couldn’t get him for abuse of power, obstruction and impeachment. Failed because there was nothing there there.

    So now the pumped up drama of the world markets crashing and the people dying and you guessed it, caused by President Trump. HOWEVER, as President Trump stated in his State of the Union Address, “The best is yet to come!” Also he commented after the impeachment, “I caught them, I caught them all”. This is going to bight them on the bum.

    Be patient this is setting the “platform” for the takedown.


  • #

    What a daft story. The 4 senators who actually read and saw the danger coming out of china should be commended and put in the cabinet. Websites like zerohedge were running stories on the virus problem in china in january and zerohedge got banned from twitter for posting a coronavirus story identifying the bio-lab in Wuhan as the most likely source (still is the most likely origin of virus). Yes, twitter was covering up the truth.
    I started selling stocks in the last week of january and sold heavily first week of february as any investor with a brain would do. However the idiots of wall street kept buying. I whatsapped my son on 7 feb (ive kept the message) telling him to sell the market as i had due to the overwhelming evidence of a global financial disaster being inbound. The earliest a US senator sold was 13 feb – 2 weeks behind me and i only use open source news (though not mainstream propaganda news).
    All this shows is that only 4 senators are aware enough to be in charge of anything. The rest obviously dont read!


  • #

    Trump certainly knew how bad it was going to get

    This reminds me of the claim that Exxon ‘knew’ about global warming. Maybe they still don’t know. The difference is, that Exxon may have got it right.


  • #

    Just to be clear Trump never said the virus was a hoax.

    He said the Democrat reaction (to him) was the hoax which is completely different.

    A bit of perspective from the traditionally leftist, anti conservative, Politifact:-


  • #

    Trump certainly knew how bad it was going to get, but kept on downplaying it

    Come off it. He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. Accusing him of lying is too complimentary.


    • #

      “He doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.” Ha! He won the presidency from Crooked Hillary when EVERYONE thought she would win even through the night of the election. He was a successful business man before he put all of that to the side to Make America Great Again!
      I also wish he wouldn’t talk about all of the great things he has done, but if he doesn’t who will?


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