Fact Check

Newt Gingrich Wrote an Essay Called 'Understanding Donald Trump'

An essay written by Newt Gingrich in January 2016 was altered before it recirculated in April 2016.

Published May 4, 2016

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Newt Gingrich wrote an essay entitled "Understanding Donald Trump."

An essay purportedly written by Newt Gingrich entitled "Understanding Donald Trump" was widely circulated in email, web forums, and elsewhere on social media. While the former House speaker did publish an essay with this title on The Washington Times and his own web site Gingrich Productions in January 2016, severe changes were made to this article when it went viral in April 2016.

Newt's essay started with the declaration that "Donald Trump is a genuine phenomenon." Gingrich then talked about his affinity for Trump's book The Art of The Deal and wrapped up his essay with the recommendation that people read Trump's business book:

After reading this chapter you begin to think that maybe Donald Trump really could build a wall along our southern border for a lot less than our current government estimates.

‘The Art of the Deal’ is filled with stories like this — stories of common sense stories of calculated risk taking, and stories of innovation and marketing. Anyone who would like to better understand Donald Trump would be helped by reading this remarkable book.

While the viral email included Newt's original essay in its entirety, the e-mail version of "Understanding Donald Trump" also included an additional section that was not written by the former House Speaker. This section can be identified by its poor punctuation and sentences written completely with capital letters:

Another is his pledges and I have no way of knowing if he will make good on all of them but I do agree with all of them. Trump is the only candidate that is serious about building The Wall" ! Two other important pledges Trump has made that no other candidate of either party has matched ! First deportation of millions of illegals that are demanding and costing American taxpayers billions of dollars and second Closing 34 Muslim traing Camps throughout our country! I WOULD LIKE TRUMP OR ANY OTHER CANDIDATES PLEDGE TO REINSTATE ANY AND ALL MILITARY OFFICERS DISCHARGED BECAUSE THEY DISAGREED WITH OBAMA OR HIS POLICIES!!

Here is another that kind of wraps up my feelings about Trump

Raccoon's in your basement! An interesting analogy

You've been on vacation for two weeks, you come home, and your basement is infested with raccoon's. Hundreds of rabid, messy, mean raccoon's have overtaken your basement. You want them gone immediately so you hire a guy. A pro. You don't care if the guy smells, you need those raccoon's gone pronto and he's the guy to do it! You don't care if the guy swears, you don't care if he's an alcoholic, you don't care how many times he's been married,you don't care if he voted for Obama, you don't care if he has plumber's crack...you simply want those raccoon's gone!

The viral email also included a section where the anonymous author (not Newt Gingrich) imagined a conversation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton which was circulating for several months before Newt's name was attached to it:

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a bar. Donald leans over, and With A smile on his face, says, "The media are really tearing you apart for That Scandal."

Hillary: "You mean my lying about Benghazi?"

Trump: "No, the other one."

Hillary: "You mean the massive voter fraud?"

Trump: "No, the other one."

Hillary: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"

Trump: "No, the other one."


Hillary: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I've got it! When I stole the White House furniture, silverware and China when Bill left Office?"

Trump: "THAT'S IT! I almost forgot about that one".

Newt Gingrich did write an essay entitled "Understanding Donald Trump" in January 2016. This essay was widely circulated via email in April 2016, along with an amended portion that was not written by the former House Speaker.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.