Gingrich made tons of money off “insane” Freddie Mac

Spartanburg: Republician presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich. (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich didn’t deny his role with Freddie Mac during a recent GOP debate, but now the former House speaker is being asked if he bothered to tell the truth about how much he made from the firm.

Gingrich had earlier discussed the $300,000 that Freddie Mac forked over to him for consulting fees for a brief contract with the lender, but in a new report from Bloomberg News, those close to the deal say that the actual amount coughed up to the candidate was “between $1.6 million and $1.8 million.”

During the November 9 Republican debate televised by CNBC, Gingrich was asked about what he did to earn $300,000 in consulting fees from Freddie Mac in 2006; according to the candidate, he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do” and told them that their lending practices were “insane.”

Now when asked if the income he incurred from the lenders was closer to the estimates of nearly $2 million that sources say he raked in, Gingrich tells Bloomberg News that he couldn’t quite recall how much he made. “You are asking me about 12 years ago,” says Gingrich.

At the debate earlier this month, Gingrich denied ever doing lobbying for the lending giant. Today his spokesman tells Bloomberg exactly that: “He provided strategic advice,” says R.C. Hammond. “

“He would meet with them on a monthly basis about problems and he would come back to them about solutions,” adds Hammond. According to the news organization, however, Gingrich’s consulting bordered much closer to lobbying that he led the public to believe. Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist Mitchell Delk put Gingrich on a monthly retainer of upwards of $30,000 from May 1999 until 2002 as the current candidate pitched ideas that were they waged at the George W Bush White House.

Additionally, sources say that Gingrich had a second contract with Freddie Mac that brought him a total of $600,000 over two years’ time.