Martin Shkreli Takes Questions Via Video Chat After Pleading The Fifth

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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After opting to plead the Fifth Amendment at a House committee hearing on increasing drug prices Wednesday, former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli opened himself up for questions from the public on the video-chat app Blab.

Sitting in a tee-shirt and jeans, the 32-year-old – who has been highly criticised for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5000 percent – discussed topics ranging from his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album to how he felt about appearing before Congress after being subpoenaed.

The controversial former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who was once called “the most hated man in America,” tweeted at members of Congress inviting them to ask their questions via social media.

“If Elijah Cummings wants to come to my hood, which I wish he would, we can hash it out,” he said. 

When pressed for answers on price gouging during the hearing, he repeatedly said: “I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours” while smirking at members of Congress. 

After a user on the app said he was disappointed with South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s questions, Shkreli said he thought it was “very conniving” for him to attempt to get him to waive his constitutional rights, adding he talked to three different law firms hoping he could testify. 

The “pharma bro” went on to say he believes the hearing was used as a political tool for lawmakers. 

“It’s pathetic they need me to get publicity for themselves,” he said. “The last thing they would want me to do is testify because it would be embarrassing for them.”

The former hedge fund manager defended himself from accusations he is widely hated, saying many ask him for autographs, selfies and dying children want play Xbox with him. He went on to cite a Twitter poll that had him nearly neck-in-neck with Congress in terms of popularity

Shkreli remained unapologetic his decision to dramaticly increase the price of Daraprim –a drug used to treat AIDS –saying it “was necessary” for the production of new life-saving drugs.

“I dont live my life for support from other people,” he said. “The whole world can hate me if I can come up with a new drug.”

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