"There was nothing done that was insider trading or unethical," Collins said
"I never said to buy it or it's a great stock," he added
Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, responded to accusations of inappropriate financial investments regarding Department of Health and Human Services pick Rep. Tom Price on Monday, saying that nothing the two representatives did was insider trading.
Price was grilled last week during his confirmation hearings on whether he purchased stocks in a company called Innate Immunotherapeutics after receiving a “stock tip” from Collins, a fellow member of the House.
“There was nothing done that was insider trading or unethical,” Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” adding that he talks about his involvement with the company that Price bought stocks in because he’s the biggest shareholder.
“I talk about it all the time, just as you would talk about your children,” he added. “Certainly many of the people I’ve talked about it (to), and he was one of the few … he decided on his own to make an investment.”
During the hearing last week, Price also denied that what they did was inappropriate.
“Do you believe it is appropriate for a senior member of Congress, actively involved in policy-making in the health center, to repeatedly personally invest in a drug company that could benefit from those actions?” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, asked.
“That’s not what happened,” said Price, who insisted repeatedly that he never received information that could be considered stock tip.
Blitzer grilled Collins about his involvement, and Collins defended it as all done appropriately.
“I never said to buy it or it’s a great stock,” he said. “I talked to them about the great work this company is doing.”