The White House is planning announce that a religious zealot – Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – will be be the next ambassador to the Vatican.
The announcement, according to this report, is expected ahead of Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis on May 24 in Rome.
This is what is known about Ms Gingrich:
Gingrich is an author, columnist, and president of Gingrich Productions. She and her husband, Newt, founded the company to feature the couple’s media work and provide consulting services. Gingrich Productions also rents out its email list, which reportedly has 250,000 subscribers and was used by the Trump campaign during the election.
Gingrich Productions sent a February 2016 Health Revelations email claiming to have “the TRUTH” about preventing cancer and deadly tumors. The email linked to a pitch page claiming that “all cancers were actually cured back in 1925” but the government has been covering up the evidence.
In October and December 2015, Gingrich Productions sent an email from Health Sciences Institute claiming that “researchers investigating” the Bible have:
Unlocked a connection to a stunning cancer-fighting power… a breakthrough so monumental, it’s poised to make traditional cancer therapies obsolete… and save millions of lives.
In 2013, Gingrich Productions sent an email from Health Revelations which also claimed that “cancer was cured back in 1925” and:
A God-fearing American doctor … gives the actual cure.
Gingrich Productions’ emails carry the disclaimer that the message:
Reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of Gingrich Productions.
HSI and Health Revelations have been heavily criticised for their shady business practices and marketing of scammy medical advice. The conservative movement has been heavily infected with scams.
Similar cancer “cure” emails became an issue during the Republican presidential primary when then-candidate Mike Huckabee was criticised for sending out sponsored emails from Health Revelations.
Gingrich Productions has also rented out its email list to other dubious entities, including a financial firm that was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in “deliberate fraud” and profiting from “false statements”
Gingrich Productions frequently sent out emails from Stansberry Associates despite the fact that it’s a disgraced financial firm that was fined $1.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in “deliberate fraud” and profiting from “false statements.”
The company’s founder, Porter Stansberry complained in April 2013 that it is “fucking bullshit” that people get upset at him for using slurs like “nigger” and “fag” when he’s “not the least bit bigoted.”
An administration official said the decision to nominate Gingrich has been made but the announcement has taken longer than expected pending approval from the Office of Government Ethics.
Gingrich is a devout Catholic, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network in a 2011 interview that she has always been:
A very spiritual person.
Her all-but-certain appointment has led observers to re-examine the moral track record of her husband.
Gingrich admitted having a six-year affair with Callista, then an aide to another Republican representative, during his second marriage, his second wife Marianne told ABC during his 2012 presidential run.
The pair reportedly carried on their extramarital affair while the then-representative was leading the charge for impeachment proceedings for former President Bill Clinton for having lied under oath about his own extramarital affair. Gingrich, once a Baptist, became a Catholic during his affair with Callista.
The pair have co-authored Rediscovering God in America, touted as:
A tour of American history – of great men and women, events, documents, institutions, and ideas, all shaped decisively by the genuine belief that America is a nation founded under God. Readers will quickly find themselves on a profound path of discovery and renewal.
Gingrich’s husband was a close ally of Trump’s during the presidential campaign and was considered for a Cabinet position, but decided against taking a role in the administration.
Soon after the inauguration, Newt Gingrich told CNN that Trump was considering his wife to be the ambassador to the Holy See.
“She’s under consideration,” Gingrich said.
The former Republican presidential hopeful would not elaborate further on the deliberation process at the time, simply saying he would be “very excited for her” if she were offered the position.