The Trump administration will reportedly nominate Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House speaker Newt Gingrich, to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.
Two sources close to the president spoke to various media outlets — including the Associated Press and CNN — on the condition of anonymity about President Trump’s decision ahead of his first trip overseas as president, which will include a stop at the Vatican.
Gingrich, a devout Catholic, is the president of Gingrich Productions, a multimedia production company based in Arlington, Va. In partnership with conservative nonprofit Citizens United Productions, it produces “historical and public policy documentaries” that present their worldview, founded in American exceptionalism and Catholicism.
Recent patriotic films include “A City Upon A Hill, “America At Risk,” “Rediscovering God in America” and “Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny.” The partnership also produced two films on the late Pope John Paul II: “Nine Days That Changed the World” and “Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II.”
Gingrich, who lives in McLean, Va., is the author of children’s books about Ellis the Elephant, who travels through time to learn about U.S. history. Most of the book titles are based on the lyrics to well-known patriotic songs, such as “Sweet Land of Liberty,” “Land of the Pilgrims’ Pride” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
Before heading Gingrich Productions, she was a staffer on the House Committee on Agriculture and in the office of Congressman Steve Gunderson, R-Wis., according to her official bio.
She is the president of the Gingrich Foundation, a nonprofit that established the Newt and Callista Gingrich Scholarship at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she studied music as an undergraduate.
But Gingrich, who is 22 years younger than Newt Gingrich, 73, also made news for her reported role in her husband’s divorce from his second wife, Marianne Gingrich, in the late ’90s.
Marianne Gingrich said her husband of 18 years admitted to six-year affair with Callista, and sought an open marriage so he could see them both. That happened at about the same time Gingrich was leading the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
While presenting himself as a family values candidate during the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, Newt Gingrich adamantly rejected the allegation that he sought an open relationship, but admitted to certain moral shortcomings that drove him to seek mercy from God.
“I’ve made mistakes at times. I’ve had to go to God for forgiveness. I’ve had to seek reconciliation,” he said.
Gingrich reportedly played an important role in her husband’s conversion to Catholicism. She sings in the professional resident choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The group recorded a CD titled “Pope John Paul II: A Celebration of Life and Faith” in 2005, and sang for Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 Apostolic Journey to the U.S.