Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.RELATED: Top Ten Reasons Newt Gingrich Will Flame Out Like A Napalm Birthday Candle
The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.
Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.
Gingrich said this morning the payments were for “strategic advice over a long period of time.” His fees were sent to his consulting firm, The Gingrich Group, not to him personally, he said in an interview after making a campaign appearance in Des Moines, Iowa.
He said he couldn’t recall details of the contracts with Freddie Mac. “You are asking me about 12 years ago,” he said.