Roe calls Tennessean story an 'untruthful hit piece'

Hank Hayes • May 29, 2020 at 8:00 AM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe on Thursday blasted a Tennessean story that suggested he " snatched up" rising stocks and unloaded poor-performing stocks as the COVID-19 pandemic began taking hold.

Roe, R-Tennessee, called the story an "untruthful hit piece" in a conference call with reporters.

"It was a political hit job, a character assassination for someone who didn't do what they implied that he did do," Roe insisted. "Even before I got elected to Congress, I didn't have time to look after my finances so I went to my financial advisers who have been there for years. ... I said, 'I don't want to be involved in financial decisions because I don't think it's probably right.' I said, 'You will manage my account.' ... I was never involved in any of those decisions. To have your reputation destroyed by this crap. If the intention of this person who wrote this crappy article was to harm someone, you did. You succeeded but you did not tell the truth."

Roe pointed out that in 2012 he voted for the Stock Act, which prohibits members of Congress from profiting on non-public information and allows public disclosure of transactions.

Roe also addressed these questions:

Are you going to sue The Tennessean?

"No. You know I'm not. I am going to write a letter to the editor, but I have to cool off a little bit. I am going to write a letter to the editor and tell them what the truth is."

How is Congress doing business during this pandemic?

"It's very easy and the voting goes very fast. It limits the number of bills we can actually get to, but it is a very efficient way to do it. The thing that I miss is not being able to interact with my colleagues on the floor."

The stimulus bill passed the House but got no consideration in the Senate. Do you anticipate another bill being considered at some point?

"I do. I can't tell you how many businesses I've talked to locally in the district that like the PPP (Payroll Protection) program. We need to let the businesses decide which way is the best way to help their business." (The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act passed in the House on Thursday.)

Why are House Republicans filing a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for proxy voting?

"We have never voted voted by proxy on the House floor in the 220 plus years of this republic. No one has ever handed their voting card off to another member. There are over 50 who are voting by proxy. None of the Republicans are voting by proxy. You should be here to vote."

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