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. SENSIBLE MIKE

    This whole Party of NO crap that Democrats spread. I think Republicans should take it one step further.

    Party of NO new taxes.

    Party of NO big government

    Party of NO lying members of congress.

    Sure that party of No I'll be glad to be a party of.

    THAT SHOULD BE THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Renee

    As usual when a left wing nut job is exposed for being the liar they are the only defense their followers (sheep) can come up with is to insult anyone who dares to make a valid point. Bottom line, Nancy "Pinnochio" Pelosi is a "LIAR". You can say whatever you want, it does'nt change the "FACTS". Let's see you blame this on Bush, oh wait someone already did, my bad.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. The Nation is Ready

    We want an investigation

    We accept the results

    of whoever is arrested

    for lying to the American People to enhance their careers or portfolios

    Sometimes when you Fail, you must goto Jail

    Bush Cheney Pelosi

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Larry from RI

    And exactly how does this absolve those who authorized and committed these acts of torture?

    Her alleged knowledge of what the CIA was doing does not change the fact that serious crimes have been committed in all of our names by the former President and his staff!

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Mary - Independent

    Common sense should ask everyone and anyone, how many times is Pelosi going to lie? She needs the front door or the back door,
    whichever comes first.

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. mike in colorado

    i don't really like Pelosi's leadership skills either,

    BUT

    this reminds me of the line in the movie "all the presidents men" when "Deep Throat" is telling the gys... Donald Segretti!! Your focusing you investigation on Donald Segretti!!!!

    May 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Doug in New Mexico

    Just why is anyone listening to this man? Oh yes, and why does he have a forum every time he opens his mouth?

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Cicero

    Would anyone with a brain expect Pelosi to tell the truth.
    We should expect this administration to adhere to the same
    rules that the Bush administration were required to. Both
    parties are comtemptable and term limits are NEEDED.

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Pelosi don't blink

    Liberals never cease to amaze me, to support Pelosi just goes to show what the Democratic party is made of. All the Bush haters who go on and on about the last 8 years being so terrible. I would have to wonder what was so terrible in your life. The economy was booming, houses were handed out like candy on Halloween. The only people who didn't have a job, didn't want one.

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Stacy

    I am so sick and tired of this he said/she said crap. People will twist words and interpret things to their liking. Then, the supporters of each side will take the information as fact. Can we get to a point where we are governing our country instead of acting like high school kids?

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Ken

    Shocking! Pelosi is a politician who lies with a straight face. So, what is new? Obviously we need to give Washington more power, and more of our money so the liars can save us. Ya, we no longer need logic or the ability to think for ourselves, we will just do what the DC crowd tells us is good for us.

    Stand by for change, as the greatest country that has ever existed is bankrupted by a bunch of power hungry liberals.

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    I agree with Jeff in VA :2nd comment.
    I don't care for Pelosi at all but what Jeff says is true. This whole "torture"
    episode needs to be investigated and everyone found involved should be found guilty and go to jail.
    Newt is a has been trying to be relevant again and it won't work. ALL the old guard needs to go away. Bush, Cheney, Newt, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the GOP idiots need to be water boarded and then spent their remaining days in exile. If Pelosi is guilty she needs to go with them.

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Karen in Florida

    The Republicans gave the Democrats W, who despite those things that he did well, was a "gift that kept giving", The Democrats are returning the favor with Madame Pelosi, who is showing that the position of Speaker of the House has far more ability to tarnish a party than we ever thought possible ! YOU GO GIRL ... LOL !!

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Libertarian

    This is VERY dangerous for the Republican party. Obama has refuted the pleas to prosecute Bush-era administration. If Newt pushes for the investigation of what Pelosi just KNEW then the gloves may come off and we'll be looking into what Bush/Cheney actually DID.

    Bush wouldn't get his library then unless Cheney/Haliburton funded it. lol

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. DaMaestro

    I guess it takes one to know one, right Newt?

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Denise

    Nancy was sworn to silence and told it was a national secuirty issue, as it was a time of war. I blame her not at all. BUT the folks who authorized it...Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice...they should fry! Aamazin how the Repigs jump on the first smell of a Democrat possibly at fault. They are SO GOOD at the blame game and diverting the attention away from their NO stance. I use to be a Repug, they have some good ideals BUT WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY NOW???

    May 15, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Loraine

    Does it matter who knew what when...the holding of hostages was 7.5 years long...any politician could have asked for and gotten answers along the way.. NONE did. They are all equally to blame.

    I totally understand President Obama's stand for both trying to be as up front as possible with the information he had (regarding torture) before becoming president and the total Republican mess he has had to deal with since. Playing show and tell with this information at this stage would be a bad call.

    No matter how you slice it...REPUBLICANS LET REPUBLICANS RUN AMERICA for 8 years AND THEY RAN IT RIGHT INTO THE GROUnD. Why should Dem's play nice now...they have to clean up the mess that was left over.

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. eeriemoon

    You people are all whacked in the head. This is exactly why there should be a test before you are allowed to vote. Not one of you understands the issues! Why don’t you try reading instead of watching this bias news channel?

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. ryan

    The stuttering should tell anyone that she was lying. What amazes me is that people in this country can't see through either side (Rep or Dem). Newsflash, 99% of all politicians are liars. Ever hear the saying "It takes 2 to fight". Bipartisanship is dead and guess who is stuck in the middle "The American people". The 2 parties have polarized this country wo much they are bringing this country to its knees and when something goes wrong, the people posting in these forums just point the finger at the other party. Wake up people, things are not going to get any better, and guess what, your party is just as much to blame. What happened to "accountability". I think if you look it up in the new Webster dictionary, it probably isn't in there any more.

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. Joyce

    Whether Pelosi knew or not the MSM is trying to divert the attention from the main characters of the show, Buch and loud mouth Cheney. I get it **wink** but the ex CIA officer has already testified anonamously in front of congress and stated that he recieved vital information from the suspected "terrorist" before the other tortures began!

    I say this is a bunch of hog-wash!
    Knock it off MSM and let us prosecute Cheney, he's a lying sac, and a war criminal. The GOP has no more credibility...they are history unless they get their acts together (which i seriously doubt).

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Brian

    Where is Dem outrage? You were told from the beginning that Pelosi and the Dems knew all about it and just became outraged when they knew they could manipulate you suckers for votes.

    Obama is now going to keep the tribunials and a lot of you who were played owe your country a great big apology.

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. MidwestGuy

    It's funny to see how liberals deflect accusations when they are against one of their own. Members of BOTH parties should be held accountable for their actions.

    This article is about Pelosi and her actions regarding the use of waterboarding. It's very evident that Pelosi had the knowledge, the responsibility and the authority to act if she felt it was necessary. Her motives are purely political, but it shows her incompetence if not stupidity.

    So take off those rose colored glasses and see the truth. Both parties are corrupt, do something about it.

    May 15, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. Kevin from PA

    How sad is it that this story is being buried in papers & on CNN. THIS IS THE 3rd HIGHEST RANKING PERSON IN THE GOVT & SHE IS CALLING THE CIA LIARS!!!!!! How does this not make front page news? Covering up for the Dem's maybe?

    May 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Is this the same guy who was having an affair with his secretary while trying to get Clinton removed from office?

    May 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Mark S.

    Keep talking Newt. The more you talk the more people leave the Republican party......

    May 15, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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