On the January 25 edition of Fox & Friends on Fox News, Mitt Romney was asked about his personal investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He responded by falsely claiming the investment was part of a mutual fund chosen by a trustee and part of his blind trust.
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): Yesterday Newt Gingrich joined us and said, “I just found out that Mitt Romney was in investor in Fannie & Freddie.” What’s the truth?
MITT ROMNEY: [Laughs] That’s pretty funny. My investments, of course, are managed not by me. For the last ten years they’ve been guided and managed by a trustee, they’re in a blind trust. And the trustee invested in mutual funds and so forth and apparently one of the funds had Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bonds.
That’s not true. As the Boston Globe originally reported in September: “And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.” The Romney campaign has not disputed that report because it is public information:
Romney Reported Owning Between $250,001 and $500,000 in Federated Government Obligation Fund that Holds Significant Government-Investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities. In his most recent personal financial disclosure, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 in the Federated Government Obligations Fund, which held investments in Fannie Mae debt notes, Freddie Mac debt notes, and Housing & Urban Development debt notes. [Securities and Exchange Commission, 4/30/11; Federated, “Federated Government Obligations Fund,” www.federatedinvestors.
Romney’s Investment in Federated Government Obligation Fund Was Outside of His Blind Trust, and He Had Complete Discretion Over It. “Other than assets and income sources listed on page 1 of Schedule A, all of the assets listed in this Report are held by the W. Mitt Romney Blind Trust, the Ann D. Romney Blind Trust, Mr. Romney’s IRA or Mrs. Romney’s IRA (collectively, the ‘Reporting Entities’). In each case, R. Bradford Malt, as Trustee (the ‘Trustee’), has complete investment discretion over the assets held by these investment vehicles, except where the Trustee has delegated that discretion to third party investment managers.” [Public Financial Disclosure Report, “Notes to OGE Form 278, Schedule A,” Office of Government of Ethics, Willard Mitt Romney, Filed 2011]
Romney’s Federated Government Obligation Fund Was Almost Half Comprised Of Holdings in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Bank Notes. Romney’s Federated Government Obligations Fund reported holding investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt notes. Out of the mutual fund’s $28.5 billion portfolio, the fund held $2,706,357,583 worth of Fannie Mae debt, $2,332,175,880 in Freddie Mac debt, and $7,931,931,437 in Federal Home Loan Bank debt notes. [Securities and Exchange Commission, 4/30/11; Public Financial Disclosure Report, “Schedule A,” Office of Government of Ethics, Willard Mitt Romney, Filed 2011]