Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he's trying to figure out how much money he made from controversial housing giant Freddie Mac and suggested he may release the information as early as Friday.
Gingrich's comments, in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, represent the latest shift in his campaign's response to a Bloomberg News story earlier this week that said the former House speaker made as much as $1.8 million from Freddie. Initially, the Gingrich campaign promised to release details about the payment, then appeared to back off that pledge.
Freddie Mac and its sister quasi-governmental agency, Fannie Mae, are under scrutiny for mortgage lending practices that are believed to have led to an inflation of the housing bubble. Adding to the controversy: the millionsthat both agencies spent hiring heavyweight Washington insiders to lobby Congress. Gingrich insisted he never lobbied.
On Fox, Gingrich said he is "not sure the exact amount" he was paid but didnot dispute reports that he got upwards of $1.6 million. The payments were made "over a number of years," Gingrich said. "I think it started in 1999 and ran up to I think 2007 or 8."
Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that another arm of Gingrich’s business empire collected as much as $37 million from health industry players over the past eight years.