Why Did Freddie Mac Pay Newt Gingrich $300,000? : NPR
“Much of what they complain about was happening during that period [the mid- to late-’90s], and Gingrich as speaker presided over a Congress that did nothing about it,” Frank says.
Media accounts in 1999 said Freddie Mac first hired Gingrich that spring when he had just left Congress. His next known contract with Freddie was in 2006, when the George W. Bush administration was pushing Congress to regulate Freddie and Fannie.
For its part, Freddie Mac won’t confirm or deny that it ever hired him.
Guy Cecala, the publisher of the industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance, says Freddie wouldn’t have hired Gingrich for his historical and financial perspectives.
“They had rocket scientists and their own brain trust for doing it,” he says. “What they were looking more for was political protection and cover, and they wanted it on both sides of the aisle.”
And indeed, NPR spoke with two sources who were at Freddie Mac in 2006. They said Gingrich was hired to help Freddie Mac build alliances on Capitol Hill, and to burnish Freddie’s reputation. They said he also met with donors to the company’s political action committee.