NPR logo Media Advisory: Excerpts from NPR News Interview with Newt Gingrich

Media Advisory: Excerpts from NPR News Interview with Newt Gingrich

President-elect Donald Trump listens as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks to reporters in New York City on Dec. 5. Gingrich suggests a panel of experts monitor Trump's business conflicts after he takes office. Seth Wenig/AP hide caption

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Seth Wenig/AP

President-elect Donald Trump listens as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks to reporters in New York City on Dec. 5. Gingrich suggests a panel of experts monitor Trump's business conflicts after he takes office.

Seth Wenig/AP

Tuesday, December 20, 2016; Washington, D.C. - In an interview airing tomorrow on Morning Edition, NPR's Rachel Martin talks with former House Speaker and Trump advisor Newt Gingrich about President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team and conflicts of interest regarding Trump's business holdings.

Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations

Some excerpts from the extended conversation are available below.

When asked about the need for President-Elect Trump to publicly disclose his plans on how his businesses will be administered while he's in office, Gingrich said: "He has to understand, and his family has to understand, that there is a public interest which transcends them. At the same time we have to understand that this is a new situation we've never seen before, and the rules that were written for people who are dramatically less successful, literally do not work."

When asked about ways President-Elect Trump can deal with conflicts of interests given the extent of his business holdings, Gingrich said: "I've been suggesting that you find people like Attorney General Mukasey, who are widely respected and have a panel of like five of them, who have total access to everything, and who are able to say on a regular basis, maybe monthly, you know, don't go over these bounds, this has to be fixed, that can't be done that way."

Gingrich also had the following exchange with Morning Edition Host Rachel Martin:

MARTIN: "Is that something you've suggested to the transition team?"

GINGRICH: "It's something I've talked to the transition team about."

MARTIN: "And what was their response?"

GINGRICH: "I think it's one of many things they're looking at."

MARTIN: "But up until now Donald Trump has just essentially said, 'trust me.'"

GINGRICH: "Right. That will not last. This is not a country that wanders around trusting people with power."

Gingrich and Martin had the following exchange on indications that President-Elect Trump may be shifting away his campaign trail attacks on Washington elites and insiders:

MARTIN: "You say you've been working on these issues, others might say 'you've been working in the swamp,' to use Donald Trump's language."

GINGRICH: "Although I'm told he now disclaims that. He now says, it was cute but he doesn't want to use it anymore."

MARTIN: "He doesn't want to use drain the swap anymore?"

GINGRICH: "I don't know I saw it, somebody sent me that note last night because I'd written what I thought was a very cute tweet about, the alligators are complaining.....

MARTIN: (laughs)

GINGRICH: "....and somebody wrote back and said, they were tired of hearing this stuff."

MARTIN: (laughs) "Did you take offense, as an alligator?"

GINGRICH: "I'm becoming more statesmanlike in this interview. (laughter) But I've noticed on a couple of fronts, that he's in a different role now, and maybe he feels that as president, as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified. But, you know, he is my leader, and if he decides to drop the swamp and the alligator, I will drop the swamp and the alligator."

PLEASE NOTE: Transcript of the interview is available upon request, and is embargoed until Tuesday, December 20 at 5 AM (ET).


Contact

Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org