PRESS Pass: Jack Abramoff

PRESS Pass: Jack Abramoff

Former "super" lobbyist Jack Abramoff thinks Newt Gingrich’s campaign has suffered a brutal blow after reports surfaced that he received “consulti

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Former “super” lobbyist Jack Abramoff thinks Newt Gingrich’s campaign has suffered a brutal blow after reports surfaced that he received “consulting fees” from mortgage giant Freddie Mac that totaled between $1.6 million and $1.8 million, an amount much larger than previously disclosed.

“I don’t know if he’ll survive this,” Abramoff surmised. “This is a very big thing.”

“The very things that anger the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement and everybody who is not in a movement and watches Washington and says why are these guys getting all this money, why do they go become so rich, why do they have these advantages? Unfortunately Newt seems to play right into it,” he said.

Gingrich initially responded to criticism of his ties to the troubled firm during a CNBC debate last week by saying he provided advice as a “historian.” Abramoff dismissed Gingrich’s explanation Wednesday, saying, “I’m unaware of any history professor being paid that much money to give someone a history lesson.”

Abramoff, who spent three years in prison on corruption and conspiracy charges, told David in his weekly PRESS Passconversation that even after new reforms in Washington, “at some level everybody’s participating in something that they shouldn’t be.” He also gave PRESS Pass an insider look at how he was able to buy and sell influence on Capitol Hill for years without being caught, and urged Americans to be “very upset” with the state of Washington today.

Watch the full PRESS Pass above for more on Abramoff’s notorious lobbying practices before he was jailed, how he thinks the system should be reformed, and his Jewish faith including the answer to this question from David: “In the Jewish faith, it’s said that in the Talmud, that one of the first questions God asks you in heaven is, ‘Were you honest in your business dealings?’”

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