Employees of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich grew increasingly concerned in recent years about their boss’s purchases from luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co., worried that if he followed through on plans to run for president it could become a political liability.
The purchases included jewelry items valued as much as $300,000 for his wife’s Christmas gifts, selected each year during a fall Potomac River cruise sponsored by the jeweler. On a smaller scale, Gingrich spent about $40,000 over four years buying Tiffany trinkets as Christmas gifts for up to 100 employees, according to three former employees who asked not to be named because of the issue’s sensitivity.
The former employees agreed to be interviewed by the The Washington Post to explain how staff concerns mounted about Gingrich’s spending and his relationship with Tiffany. All three said they admire Gingrich but question his judgment.