Transcript for Newt Gingrich discusses Trump’s ‘phony emoluments clause’ comment
During a cabinet meeting yesterday you-know-who said he's not happy about having to pull out of the g7 at his Miami resort even if it does violate the constitution. Here's why. Many other presidents -- there weren't too many really pitch presidents but there were a few. They ran their business. Hey, Obama made a deal for a book. Is that running a business? I'm sure he didn't even discuss it while he was president. George Washington was actually considered a very, very rich man at the time, but they ran their businesses. George Washington, they say, had two desks. He had a presidential desk and a business desk. I don't think you people with this phony emoluments clause -- and by the way, I would say that it's cost me anywhere from 2 to $5 million to be president. You know what, but, you know, that's why they say when you take this job you cut everything else loose until you leave the job. That's the -- everyone has done this. Now, I don't know about Obama's book but I know that he made the deal after he left the white house. So stop bringing up Obama. And you're saying it's true, George Washington had two desks. No, first of all, Washington did run mount Vernon while he was the commanding general. From 1775 -- Okay. And when was the emoluments clause. Emoluments is about money from a foreign government. But here's the point and this is what I don't understand about the president. This was just a dumb idea. Yes. Doral. The idea that -- I mean, the idea that you could say, oh, hi, we're going to have a meeting of seven major countries on my golf course and not have everybody else in the country go what? It was just one of those things where -- So who's around him then? This is what I do wonder and you know this. It's so important to have a team of people that you can trust when you have an idea like that to run it by people and say does this sound crazy and they come back and say do not do that. You think he ran it by people and they said don't do it and he still did it. People said this is not going to work. Did they say it's unconstitutional. It's impossible in public relations terms have some guy that's a billionaire to explain that he's going to have seven countries at his golf course. I don't care who it is. No, no, no. This guy is held to a different thing when you're the president. You can't do anything you want to. That's what the constitution is there for. I agree. So don't say -- don't be -- I don't care whether it's a liberal or Democrat. As a president, the idea that a president is going to be the host of this thing -- I mean, Reagan hosted it at williamsburg, a historic site. That's right. I think George Bush hosted at sea island which is also a historic site. And a beautiful place. But Republicans are pushing back. They pushed back on Syria. They should. I do wonder if this impeachment has changed the dynamics a little bit where they feel like they hold more of the cards. They can say if you don't hold this back we have the power to put up a vote on impeachment. Do you think it changed anything? No. I think what finally moved it is they had several things in a row that they deeply disagreed with. That's how the constitution should work. The congress ought to have independent judgment. I thought they were exactly right to push back and I was delighted that the pressure was large enough that he dropped the idea of having something at Doral. Speaker, do you think it started -- you said several things in a row. Do you think it started with the kurds, with leaving our allies to die? No. I think it's been building for weeks and weeks and different people have been -- I think that in the case of Syria, if he had invited in the leadership, had a conversation, explained what he was doing, he would have gotten 20% of the resistance. People don't run for office and get to be a house member and a senator to wake up in the morning and have a big surprise. Yeah. Particularly if you're a senior leader, if you're Mcconnell or Lindsey graham or somebody who's the head of a major committee, you sort of think you ought to be Lyndon Johnson used to say I want to be on the takeoff if you want me in on the landing. The president would do a lot of good to not have random decisions. And listening to the people that you hired. Everything feels very impulsive. Not to mention the troops on the ground. You've got the kurds holding up their phone in your face reading tweets saying you're leaving us, we are stranded by ourselves. Everyone was surprised by this. That's hard for everybody. That's right. It's always a mistake to surprise people and you can't run a team, first of all, if you don't know what game you're playing and second, if you don't
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