In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download on Tuesday, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich held forth about President-elect Donald Trump, his staff, and the media.
When pressed about Trump’s refusal so far to hold any press conferences, Gingrich offered his support for the move, saying that Trump should continue to shun the press straight through his presidency and instead only answer handpicked questions from the public.
“The news media so totally disgraced itself in this election, if I were Trump I would just say no,” Gingrich said. “And if the White House Correspondents Association doesn’t like it, I’d say, ‘Fine, disband.’”
Still, Gingrich conceded that Trump is not without his flaws, chief among them his recent tweet alleging widespread voter fraud and millions of illegally cast ballots, saying, “The president of the United States can’t randomly tweet without having somebody check it out,” Gingrich said. “It makes you wonder about whatever else he’s doing. It undermines much more than a single tweet.”
But a bit of errant tweeting wasn’t enough to entirely sour Gingrich on his man. He is still looking forward to a Trump presidency, with Reince Priebus, a GOP Establishment favorite, and Steve Bannon, who ran a website that promotes white nationalism, at the helm. “You have a very hard-line conservative warrior as your chief strategist and you have a really sophisticated manager of the Establishment as your chief of staff,” he said.
In discussing Trump, Gingrich invoked Andrew Jackson, another famously divisive president (just ask Native Americans). Trump is “one-third Andrew Jackson in disruption, one-third Theodore Roosevelt in sheer energy, and one-third P.T. Barnum in selling all the time,” according to Gingrich.