May 15th, 2009
05:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Gingrich rips into Pelosi

Gingrich said Pelosi is a 'trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.'
Gingrich said Pelosi is a 'trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.'

(CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is engaging in a "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort" to withhold what she knew about the CIA's aggressive interrogation techniques, Newt Gingrich said Friday, in what amounts to the harshest criticism yet leveled at the California Democrat.

In an interview with ABC Radio, the former House Speaker said Pelosi flat-out "lied to the House" when she earlier claimed the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration's use of aggressive interrogation techniques including waterboarding.

"I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," Gingrich said.

Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say that she was fully briefed on the techniques in 2002 and 2003.  On Thursday, the California Democrat accused CIA officials of misleading her, reiterating an earlier claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once - in September 2002 - and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.

Pelosi also said the briefing she received from the CIA was incomplete and inaccurate, and she called on the CIA to release a full transcript of the briefing. She also accused Republicans of jumping on reports of the briefings to cause a distraction.

"She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior," Gingrich also said in the blistering interview.

Earlier: Source: Aide told Pelosi waterboarding had been used

"Speaker Pelosi's the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent, or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses," he continued. "The fact is, she either didn't do her job, or she did do her job and she's now afraid to tell the truth."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Faux

    Newt go root at the pig sty

    May 15, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Jeff in Virginia

    Distractions distractions!!

    There is no story about Nancy Pelosi being exposed as a liar because there is no proof of her lying other than anonymous words of Bush administration officials.

    Of course the Bush folk are going to lie about it. Anything to distract from the real issue at hand; that Bush and Cheney personally authorized torture, and then used the false information to invade Iraq.

    On Pelosi, if she knew about this and did nothing, I'd like her hide nailed to the wall too. However, to say that her silence is a worse crime than that committed by Bush and Cheney- who gave the orders- is just pure idiocy.

    May 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    Cheney pushed torture to prove a "link" between al queda and Sadaam.

    Why doesn't CNN report this.

    Newt is well . . . a little newt.

    May 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. mike

    IMPEACH PELOSI!!!!

    LIAR. you can't claim to be as pious as you do and lie to the American people.

    She should at least lost all her power and at most be impeached.

    What else aren't you telling us Ms Pelosi?

    I and many others have NO FAITH in you.

    May 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. DebM, Allentown, PA

    How does Newt know what happened in these briefings? Was he a fly on the wall, or more like a COCKROACH on the floor? I love how these holier-than-thou Republicans continue to hold themselves out as omnipotent, when in fact they truly know nothing of which they speak.

    May 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Vince

    "I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," Gingrich said.

    But, apparently, the President (Bush, that is) can?

    May 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. truth is liberal sort of

    Pelosi LIES...

    May 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Randolph Carter

    I'm a liberal, whatever that is, and I can't stand Nancy either. That said, who the hell cares what a radio entertainer says? Have a nice day!

    May 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Tom St. Louis

    Really? Newt Gingrich calling someone out for extreme partisanship? He must be delusional if he doesn't see the irony.

    May 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Jinny Lee

    God....he sounds just like the GOP!

    May 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Moi

    Look who is calling the kettle black!

    May 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Bob in Pa

    It's time for "Change" in the house leadership. Do us a big favor Nancy, step down now so we don't have to continue reading your lies.

    May 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Doug-ABQ

    Gingrich is the loser. His comments remind me of the expression "like a pot calling the kettle black."

    May 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Had It

    If it takes getting rid of dems and reps – half of congress – in order to get Cheney and Bush, DO IT.

    WAR CRIMES are not needed. The C riminals NEED TO GO. NOW. THEY STINK

    May 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Jeff in Virginia

    Newt Gingrich calls out Nancy Pelosi for "using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes"...

    Is this bizarro world? What was the Lewinski witch-hunt?

    May 15, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    "... viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes...."

    "I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters...."

    Gingrich just summed up the entire rotten Bush administration and its 8 years of LIES and PARTISAN POLITICS.

    What the GOP is doing, and it's blatant and obvious, is to sidetrack the news to Pelosi. BUSH OKAYED THE TORTURE. GOP CONGRESS BACKED BUSH ON EVERYTHING.

    Who cares if Pelosi knew in 2002 or 2003?

    May 15, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Noneya

    I agree fully! Not only that, we should start criminal investigations into Bush, Cheney, Rice, and all of the others who denied any torture was occurring. Let's not stop at Democrats – let's go after *all* of the US officials who lied about torture.

    May 15, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Frozone

    Look out! It's the ghost of majorities past!!

    May 15, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Dallas, TX

    What a joke this woman is!!

    She knew full well about this and is now trying to back-peddle!

    She's an idiot and needs to step down; she's done enough damage!

    GET OUT NANCY!

    May 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. D in Texas

    Go away Newt. What a pest.

    May 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Carol

    Leave it to the Republicans. They don't want the actually policy makers investigated, but they want Nancy Pelosi investigated for knowing about it or not knowin about it. Condoleeza Rice and George Bush knew about it and George Bush lied and said that there was no torture going on. I think that is far worse than Pelosi. And being this was allegedly classified material, these people at the CIA were telling Intelligence Committe members to rip up memos, would not let them talk about it, etc. Yes, there is a strong possibility that the CIA is lying because for a long time, no one would even admit waterboarding was going on. All in the name of it being classified when in reality, it is all in the name of covering their own butts.

    May 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Clay

    And this from the man whose Contract on America brought our country to this point of decline. Newt is the one who first persuaded republicans in Congress that either they get their own way or obstruct any progress the other party might make. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black....

    May 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Reality

    Vince: Typical response. When caught point the finger at someone else....

    May 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Romelus

    Who cares when Nancy Pelosi knew...Nancy Pelosi didn`t waterboard ANYBODY. This is getting more publicity than the Republicans who did the actual torture!!! More Neocon smoke and mirrors...turning attention away from torture.....Let`s do what Nancy Pelosi wants, let`s have a truth commision and get to the bottom if it...I am sure they don`t want that!!!

    May 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Fenarkleman

    Looks like someone's jowls may be too tight.

    May 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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