Report: Freddie Mac paid Gingrich $1.6M

Mortgage loan company Freddie Mac paid Newt Gingrich between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees in 2006, according to a new report.

The reported amount is significantly higher than the payment of $300,000 that Gingrich has acknowledged in the past.

Gingrich had two contracts with the firm and was on retainer for both, according to a Bloomberg report.

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Gingrich was forced to defend his consulting for the mortgage firm, which underwent a government bailout in 2008, at the most recent GOP presidential debate. Gingrich said he acted as a “historian” for the firm and said he warned it at the time that its business habits were not sustainable.

"I have never done any lobbying," Gingrich said during the debate. "Every contract was written during the period when I was out of the office, specifically said I would do no lobbying, and I offered advice."

Former Freddie Mac officials disputed the claim to Bloomberg on Tuesday, suggesting Gingrich was asked to build bridges between the company and Republicans in Congress. However, Mitchell Delk, then Gingrich’s contact within the organization as Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist, confirmed to Bloomberg that Gingrich did not lobby for the firm.