Newt Gingrich raked in somewhere between $1.6 million and $1.8 million over the course of an eight-year span consulting for Freddie Mac, sources tell Bloomberg—a far cry from the $300,000 he was asked about in last week’s CNBC debate. His main contact was the firm’s chief lobbyist, Mitchell Delk. Delk says he never asked Gingrich to do any lobbying “of any kind” for him, however, and that he instead provided “counsel on public policy issues."
But former Freddie Mac officials say Gingrich was asked to help the company reach out to congressional Republicans in 2006, and to help craft arguments to win over conservatives skeptical of the firm’s public-private structure. He was also supposed to provide a white paper for this purpose, but never did so. In the debate, Gingrich said he’d just been a “historian” for the company, and had told them their lending practices were “insane,” but all of Bloomberg’s sources agree that he never criticized the company. A Gingrich spokesman confirmed that Gingrich had “a series of contracts with Freddie Mac over a period of many years,” but said “we dispute your sources’ account."