Former House Speaker on whether Trump and Sessions can continue working together and the alleged rift in the White House between Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus. Transcript, via FOX News:
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Thanks, Tucker. Real news. And Tucker will be back here tomorrow, and in the days ahead this show we'll have more as you said about America's deadliest criminal gang, and our special series hunting MS-13.
But now for reaction to Tucker's interview with the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we are joined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Newt, what's frustrating is to watch Sessions down there in El Salvador, he's doing the work and advancing the agenda that Donald Trump won so startlingly on and so successfully on in November. He's very gentlemanly, very genteel, he's hurt by the comments. That a natural response.
And compare that to this, this interview that Scaramucci gave to the New Yorker that is filled with expletives, trashing Steve Bannon who has beencarrying the conservative populist banner for years, loyal to this President. Trashing Reince Priebus who's been working really hard in the administration, regardless of what people say about how effective he is. That's just a study in contrast and also another example of an administration stepping on its good news and its message. And for a lot of my radio listeners, it's very frustrating.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think it is frustrating. I think first of all to distinguish the two, in the case of Sessions and the President, I think the President is very deeply pained by things like his son-in-law and his son being taken into a witch-hunt which is what it really is.
INGRAHAM: It's what it is. Yes.
GINGRICH: And so, I think in that sense you are seeing a man who is thrashing around because of the pain level. But you'll notice, I think Sessions has taken a very mature way. I think Sessions is doing a great job at the Justice Department. Virtually every one of President Trump's major values at justice are being implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And my guess is, over that two or three months that will probably shake out and we'll work out.
Today soap opera, yesterdays really, is unfortunate because, you know, Trump is trying to do a lot of really big things. And he's actually getting a lot of big things done. And the soap opera blocks you from seeing the big things. So, they had this huge victory on deregulation, repealing 16 regulations before we know regulations. But how can you see it with this kind of a soap opera going on?
They had a relatively good statement today about the tax cuts, they want to move this fall. Those are vital to the economy, which matter to every American. But of course this totally is drowned by the soap opera. And, you know, my advice would be, let's go back to remembering the White House
should focus on actually solving real things, and people should work together and recognize that the primary opponents are outside the White House, they are not inside the White House.
INGRAHAM: Is this not about the people of the country? This is about America. And Americans.
GINGRICH: And we need happy Americans. Ronald Reagan always understood that. I will go back to Reagan, and maybe that's not fair, but I came to Washington in 1987 to work for President Reagan. And the idealism and the resolute nature of the way he went about his business, he wasn't perfect, had some scandals, but in the West Wing there was a sense of, I don't know, even with the rivalries, there is a sense of purpose.
There is a sense of we were in this together. And when it's such a public feud versus keeping it inside the family, and Scaramucci was out there saying, well, you know, I'm a straight shooter, well, yes, sometimes these fights are better settled behind closed doors rather than in public. I mean, I'm sorry, but to go after Steve Bannon and say, he's there in the White House until 11:00 every night, or wherever he is because he is trying to build his brand?
Bannon does need to build his brand. He's trying to help the country and help Trump. And I think this, I'm sorry, I like Scaramucci, I think he is really talented, but this episode is humiliating to the President. I think it ultimately humiliates him. It does not serve the communication of this agenda well. I'm probably going to take them off by saying it, but I say it out of deep love and affection. He's not helping his agenda at all.
GINGRICH: It raises the question about what do we mean by communication?
INGRAHAM: What is the communications director's job?
GINGRICH: That's right.
INGRAHAM: What was Pat Buchanan's job?
GINGRICH: Yes. First of all, most communications directors appear on television. Most communications directors are directing --
INGRAHAM: But he says he doesn't want to be on TV. He says, he doesn't want the limelight. He made that point in an interview. In an interview.
GINGRICH: That's right. And so, most communications directors who are successful spend their time recognizing that the White House has enormous assets. It is all the cabinet officers. It has all of its outside allies. It has people that are spokespersons on various media shows. And the communications directors job ought to be to orchestrate a strategy to maximize getting what the President wants to get done.
And if you take, for example, the tax cuts. These are enormously important to this administration. They may be the key to the 2018 election. Now, they are to be spending 80 or 90 percent of their time building that coalition to make sure the tax cuts get through by Thanksgiving. Every time we get into one of these soap operas, you take away energy, you weaken the team --
INGRAHAM: Is it demoralizing to the people inside the government?
GINGRICH: Of course it is. Look, if this was a football team and you end up fighting in the huddle, it's not helpful. I mean --
INGRAHAM: But Bobby Knight was a successful basketball coach, I happen to be a big Bobby Knight fan.
He humiliated people but he got the best out of them.
INGRAHAM: Someone compared him to, you know, maybe that's what Trump is trying to do, because Trump must have green lit all of this. Scaramucci wouldn't have done this unless Trump -- I don't know.
GINGRICH: Now, look --
INGRAHAM: I hope not.
GINGRICH: I'm not going to draw a line between what Scaramucci did and what the President did. I think the President you can make an argument that in the Lombardi, Bobby Knight tradition, he's very rough-and-tumble but he really forces people to perform.
GINGRICH: And he really gets an amazing amount of people.
GINGRICH: And he's also frankly prepared to change people. Look at the campaign where they went through several campaign managers. You know, Trump in that sense is very hard driving. He doesn't think that his success is a --
INGRAHAM: He can do that himself, Newt. Right?
INGRAHAM: He can change the staff himself. He doesn't have to send out a hit man to bruise up people until they --
GINGRICH: My advice to people like Priebus and Bannon is, do your job.
GINGRICH: Don't get involved in some fight. To do your job. Get up every day, serve the country, help the President. And I think that's the order, by the way. You serve the country, and you help the President. If the President wants you to leave, you know, you are two corridors down. It's not hard to communicate with that.
INGRAHAM: That's what Sessions attitude.
GINGRICH: Yes. And I think Sessions has exactly the right attitude. He's not going to get sucked into the soap opera. He is going to the Justice Department, he is going to implement the values that he and Trump agree on.
INGRAHAM: And Sarah Huckabee Sanders was on Martha's show last hour and she said she basically hopes that Scaramucci cleans up his act. But she was very diplomatic in the way that she is set-up. But I think she is acquitting herself with great grace and under the circumstances.
Speaker Gingrich, thanks very much.