Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to make the rounds touting President-elect Donald Trump's agenda, and he recently provided a glimpse into what Americans can expect once Trump takes office in a month.
During a lengthy interview with The Washington Post, Gingrich — who is serving an unofficial role as Trump's senior planner and outside advocate to sell Trump's plans and ideas — said the incoming president won't be like the typical Washington insider who occupies the Oval Office.
"For one thing, Trump is culturally in rebellion," Gingrich said. "He really is Queens and not Manhattan, and people need to understand that. He is blue collar, middle-class America. He builds buildings. He doesn't finance them. He actually goes onsite."
Gingrich said Trump, like former President Ronald Reagan, will be hands off when he needs to be but will micromanage when necessary.
"I think he has 15 golf courses. He's not the greens manager of every single course," Gingrich said of Trump. "He has lots of people who have to work as a team. But when he shows up at a particular golf course, he checks everything.
"If he plays 18 holes, in mid-play, he'll get on the walkie-talkie and say, 'Hey, Fred. You know that [thing] over there, that that's not working right. You got to come down here and fix it!'
"When it mattered, Reagan could micromanage."
Gingrich said Trump's three priorities as president will be job creation, national security, and draining the swamp, the latter being Trump's phrase for cleaning up Washington of corruption.
Other key points Gingrich raised in the interview with the Post:
- Trump's experience dealing with planning and zoning people in New York City has prepared him for working with lawmakers in Washington.
- Gingrich hopes Trump will choose the right people to deal with "demand reduction" regarding the war on drugs.
- Trump could be bold enough to tackle criminal justice reform, which would "drive Washington crazy."
- Trump's foreign policy will be "to think. He's going to have a lot of pretty smart people in the room and he's going to say, 'Let's look at the facts and then develop a theory.'"
In a separate interview with NPR's Diane Rehm, Gingrich said Trump's wealth and business interests create an unprecedented problem in the White House. And the solution may be for Congress to change some of the nation's ethics laws so Trump would not be in violation.
"You have somebody who is a billionaire, and we have not really dealt with this relative scale of wealth in the White House in some ways since George Washington, who may have been the wealthiest man in the colonies," Gingrich said. "So historically this is an unusual amount of economic interest and virtually impossible to isolate.
"We have never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don't work, and we're going to have to think up, you know, a whole new approach."
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