Gingrich: Trump Faces War with Establishment

Former House speaker says election was 'hostile takeover by the American people'

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 13 Jan 2017 at 12:32 PM

President-Elect Donald Trump should not underestimate the fight that is coming his way and should not give in to the Washington Establishment, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday.

Gingrich said incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer — by necessity — will not be like any other.

“This is a hostile takeover by the American people of their own Cabinet, and the capital doesn’t want to be taken over.”

“Sean Spicer has to think about his entire job in the context of it being sort of a wartime assignment, that he’s not going to be a traditional press secretary, because he’s not in a traditional environment,” he said.

Trump, Gingrich said, has a chance to upend an Establishment that has ruled for 84 years — dating back to the New Deal. He said the president-elect should not expect Democrats, the media, or the permanent bureaucracy to simply roll over.

“This is a hostile takeover by the American people of their own Cabinet, and the capital doesn’t want to be taken over,” he said. “So the capital is going to fight every way it can against being taken over. And I think we have to recognize that.”

Gingrich said Trump will face intense pressure to leave the status quo untouched.

“I’m very concerned that they not flinch,” he said. “You cannot back off.”

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An early first test, Gingrich said, will be Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Congress long ago mandated that, but presidents since have ignored it for fear of being seen as a provocation given the long-running dispute between Israel and the Palestinians over control of the holy city.

"Every element of the American foreign policy Establishment is going to pile on and say, 'Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it,'" he said. "And the question will be whether, in fact, he carries through or he gives in to Washington. He's going to have dozens of cases like this."

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