- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said suggesting that President-elect Donald Trump simply transfer his vast financial holdings into a blind trust is absurd, but that an unspecified attitude of “trust me” isn’t sustainable for Mr. Trump, either.

“This is not a country that wanders around trusting people with power. This is a country that wants accountability,” Mr. Gingrich, a top Trump ally, said in an interview with NPR released Wednesday.

“This is a country in which 75 percent of the people believe there is widespread corruption. We have got to go back to re-establishing a sense of trust. That has to be an assignment Trump takes personally,” he said.

“And that has to mean more than ‘trust me,’ because ‘trust me’ never works in the long run as a model,” Mr. Gingrich said. “It’s just not possible.”

“Now again, he is unique, and I totally defend him against those who, for example, want him to put his holdings in a blind trust, which is an absurdity,” he said.

Mr. Gingrich said a large part of the president-elect’s holdings are Trump golf clubs and Trump hotels.

“I mean, we have never quite had anyone of this scale to occupy the White House, and it’s going to require us to think about how do you deal with this in a way that’s effective and that serves the interest of the country but also meets some kind of practical common-sense test,” he said.

Mr. Trump had scheduled a news conference for last week to address how he plans to separate himself from his business empire, but he has put it off as he continues assembling his Cabinet.

“The longer they wait, the greater the irritation will be, and the more concerned people will be,” Mr. Gingrich said. “So, it’s not to their advantage to get to the inaugural without having sorted this out.”

“They need to have the help of pretty wise outsiders who are able, in a dispassionate way, to help them sort through this,” he said.

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