On 'The View': Newt Gingrich 'We cherish freedom' but cannot tolerate violence

Gingrich helped lead GOP efforts to impeach then-President Bill Clinton.

April 29, 2019, 12:15 PM

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on ABC's "The View" Monday weighed in on the increase in deadly shootings just days after the massacre at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego during a Passover service on Saturday which left one person dead and three others wounded, including the rabbi and an 8-year-old girl.

More broadly, Gingrich spoke to the rise in violence saying “We cherish freedom” but cannot tolerate violence.

The host also later talked about President Donald Trump's response to an August 2017 incident in which one person was killed when white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters following a "Unite the Right" rally held to oppose calls for Confederate statues to be removed from Charlottesville. Heather Heyer was killed when a person intentionally drove into a crowd of counterprotesters. James Alex Fields was convicted of first-degree murder last December.

Trump initially blamed both sides for the rioting, and said there were "some very fine people on both sides." On Friday, the president maintained he "answered perfectly" at the time.

"If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly," Trump said Friday in an exchange with ABC News' Terry Moran. "And I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general."

The president went on to defend the legacy of Lee, who led the Confederate Army in the Civil War in defense of states' rights to maintain slavery.

On The View, Gingrich said the president did not handle the backlash to his Charlottesville comments "perfectly."

Gingrich's latest book, "Collusion," written with Pete Earley, will be available Tuesday.

Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, served as speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999 and has long been a supporter of the president. Recently Gingrich, a FOX contributor, told the network that he felt the president was well within his rights to push back against any Democratic efforts to subpoena members of his administration.

The Justice Department has told the House Judiciary Committee that Attorney General William Barr would not testify this week about the Mueller report if members move ahead with their proposed format of questioning, according to a senior committee aide.

PHOTO: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, speaks about his book 'Understanding Trump' during a book discussion at the National Press Club, June 16, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, speaks about his book 'Understanding Trump' during a book discussion at the National Press Club, June 16, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Gingrich helped lead Republican's successful efforts to impeach then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. And, during a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gingrich said the Republican party is at a "crossroads" and predicted that " if they don’t get their act together, Pelosi is going to become speaker and she's going to impeach Trump. That’s how big the stakes are.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has called for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading congressional Democrats have urged a more measured approach.

On Biden

Former vice president Joe Biden announced his candidacy last Thursday, and an ABC News/Washington Post poll shows him as an early frontrunner.

ABC News' Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.