Reality show host Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWomen and children need Congress to protect them in 2017 Overnight Defense: Defense bill heads to Obama | Oversight panel wants answers on Pentagon waste report Senate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches MORE is set to endorse Newt Gingrich on Thursday in Las Vegas, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Trump, who has flirted with his own presidential run and at one point last summer was leading the GOP polls, could help the fortunes of the former House Speaker, reeling from a tough loss in the pivotal Florida primary.
Gingrich was coy when asked about the possibility Wednesday, saying he had “no idea what the Donald is going to do.”
Gingrich was considered a front-runner for Trump's endorsement since agreeing to attend a Newsmax-sponsored debate that the real estate mogul was set to host in December. Other candidates, including Mitt Romney, said they would not be able to attend, ultimately forcing organizers to cancel.
At the time, some candidates cited Trump's repeated insistence that he could still mount a third-party presidential run as reason that they would not attend. Trump said as recently as Monday that if the candidate he chose to endorse did not win the GOP nomination, he would consider an outside run.
"I really want to endorse somebody and I'm going to be doing that over the not-so-distant future, and I'm going to be doing that, and if that person doesn't win, you know, we'll see what happens," Trump said on Fox News. "My preference is to endorse somebody. I love what I'm doing, as you guys know very well, I love it, I want to keep doing it, but I also love this country and we have to get somebody who is going to do that."
The pair also met in early December at Trump Tower, telling reporters afterward that they had discussed an apprenticeship program for poor children in New York.
Gingrich made waves in December when he suggested that children from poor families should be hired as janitors at their schools to teach them a work ethic, arguing they currently had no way of working "unless it's illegal."
At their December meeting, the former House Speaker said he asked Trump to offer apprenticeships to 10 children from the poorest New York City public schools, joking that they could work as Trump's "Apprenti," in reference to his reality show "The Apprentice."
"I thought it was a great idea," Trump had said, according to The Associated Press. "We're going to be picking 10 young wonderful children and make them 'apprenti.' We're going to have a little fun with it."
In December, Gingrich defended Trump from criticism leveled by other GOP candidates.
"This is a country that elected a peanut farmer to the presidency. This is a country that elected an actor who made two movies with a chimpanzee to the presidency," Gingrich said. "Donald Trump is a great showman; he's also a great businessman. I think one of the differences between my party and the other party is we actually go to people who know how to create jobs. We need to be open to new ways of doing things."