Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) – Newt Gingrich’s campaign vehemently denied any wrongdoing following an ABC News report Tuesday that questions business practices between two of his organizations, one a for-profit business and the other a charity.
The ABC News report said Gingrich’s charity, Renewing American Leadership (ReAL) paid $220,000 over two years to Gingrich Communications, one of the candidate’s for-profit businesses.
The story also said that the charity “also served as another avenue to promote Gingrich’s political views, and came dangerously close, some experts say, to crossing a bright line that is supposed to separate tax-exempt charitable work from both the political process and such profit-making enterprises as books and DVDs.”
The strong statement of denial follows a testy exchange caught on video earlier Tuesday in which Gingrich dodged – then verbally dressed down – a reporter after being repeatedly pressed about the business practices.
“Can you just answer the question as to why the charity you founded gave $200,000 to your for profit company?” pressed investigative producer Angela M. Hill of ABC News.
“No,” Gingrich responded at one point, turning away from the producer. The Republican presidential candidate then said, “Give me one second,” and privately huddled with press secretary R.C. Hammond.
“We’ll be happy to answer,” Hammond told Hill after huddling with his boss. “He doesn’t know what you’re talking about,” he said seconds later.
The ABC News report says the payments were discovered after an audit, last month, sponsored by the office of West Virginia’s secretary of state.
While saying that many of its questions to the Gingrich campaign have yet to be answered, ABC News did quote former Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler, who responded to the claims before quitting Gingrich’s campaign with others.
Tyler “told ABC News in a series of email exchanges prior to his resignation that the charity spent no money on political activity and ‘did nothing to promote anyone’s political career,’” the report states.
But it’s not just ABC News, kids, those bastards at NBC should all go to hell, too. From AD WEEK:
Last week, after 16 aides and advisers quit Newt Gingrich’s campaign en masse, the presidential hopeful’s Tiffany-loving wife Callista came under scrutiny as a possible cause of the staff revolt. NBC reported on the rumors in segments on “The Today Show” and then MSNBC Wednesday, quoting anonymous former staff members who criticized Callista Gingrich’s role in the campaign. Appearing on Fox News’ “On The Record with Greta van Susteren,” Wednesday night Gingrich condemned the NBC reports and the “cowardly people who, frankly, lied about my wife,” and demanded that NBC apologize. “I think the program this morning was totally irresponsible… and the kind of thing that makes it hard to make decent people run for public office,” Gingrich said [...]
Decent people? Stop trying to change the subject, Newtie. We’re talking about you and the woman who used to give you blowjobs in your car while you were still married to another woman.
As for the “backstabbing” former staffers who spoke anonymously with NBC, Gingrich claimed that their departure was good riddance to bad rubbish. “We had several people who quit who had failed totally in their professional duties who, for the last month, had not been doing their jobs,” he told van Susteren.
Gingrich said that his and Callista’s partnership, which he compared to Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s, had “unnerved some of the consultants… and they resented the idea that they had to have the two of us talk to them about things like our schedules.”
You mean like letting them know you were taking off for 2 weeks to cruise the Greek islands? Boy, are they petty!