Former Georgia lawmaker Newt Gingrich took his dream of a “senior planner” role to Trump Tower on Monday, pitching the president-elect on his vision of a powerful new position outside Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
The ex-House Speaker has repeatedly said he doesn’t want the Secretary of State gig or another high-profile job in the Trump Administration but rather a new type of role with authority to review any department and any federal agency and to report to the president on his findings.
“I’ve told the President-elect for months that I want to do is sort of be a senior planner. We now have 4,100 state legislators, the most in Republican history, going all the way back to 1854, we have 34 governors, we have the House, the Senate,” he told reporters after emerging from the meeting.
“We have 4,000 political appointees in the executive branch. And my driving goal is to figure out in January 2025 how did we serve the country so well, how did the Trump movement do so well, that we are consolidating and electing someone because we’ve earned it, because the American people say this has worked, which is what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the 30s.”
He added: “To do that I think you have to have someone who can maintain perspective….You really have to focus totally on that one sector.”
Gingrich was one of Trump’s earliest prominent supporters, quick to offer him advice – in person or on TV – during the roughest stretches of his campaign.
Sen. David Perdue visited the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on Monday, declaring it “positively irresponsible to release or transfer” the remaining detainees.
“This flies in the face of reason when the most recent intelligence report shows that the number of former detainees returning to the fight continues to rise,” said Perdue.
Obama vowed to close the prison at the naval base almost eight years ago, but his administration has struggled to transfer the remaining inmates. At a press conference last week, he blamed “congressional restrictions that have been placed on us” as part of the reason for the delay.
“What is also true, is we have greatly reduced the population,” Obama added. “You now have significantly less than 100 people there. There are some additional transfers that may be taking place over the next two months.”
Perdue said Senate Republicans would continue to seek ways to block the closure of the facility, arguing that an Obama task force “deemed the majority of the remaining detainees as too dangerous to transfer.”
“We can’t allow a political promise to get in the way of our national security,” he said. “I will do all that I can here in the Senate to ensure that President Obama doesn’t empty Guantanamo Bay during his last few weeks in office.”
Another high-profile Georgia Republican could soon join Donald Trump’s orbit.
Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans, the long-time attorney for Newt Gingrich and Gov. Nathan Deal who heads the Republican National Lawyers Association, hinted at the changes to come when he said on Facebook he would no longer chair county, district and state Georgia GOP conventions.
Even more names are surfacing to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Price, should the Roswell Republican leave for a role in Trump’s Cabinet.
The latest two potential candidates are Cade Joiner, a one-time College Republican leader who is now a small business owner, and Kelly Stewart, a former Johns Creek councilwoman.
Other potential candidates include – really deep breath – state Sens. Brandon Beach and John Albers, state Rep. Chuck Martin, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, state Rep. Jan Jones and immigration attorney Charles Kuck. Another contender: Price’s wife, state Rep. Betty Price.