(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."
The GOP is focusing its energy on Pelosi as a way of blunting any investigation of the previous administration. The strongest defense for Cheney et al is that the minority party in congress didn't stop them.
Did Pelosi get tangled up in her own webs?When we seek to deceive oh the webs we do sew until we know not the truth.The Democrats need a new;honest leader in Congress.
No, I think Newt is a bigger loser than Pelosi. What is it with the republicans? They have nothing constructive to bring to the table and all they can do is name call and try to bring their opponent down. But if you want to name call, Newt is a sleaze ball, one of the criminal politicians wanting America to fail, supporting the rich over the people, deregulation and all of the above that has brought this country to its knees.
Great photo of him stepping out from the darkness he lives in.His mama had the lizard part right at least.
Excuse Me Newt, but how is it that You are no longer in Congress ?Followed by the PNAC, the GOP , Bush, Cheney, etc. ?
Newt is just trying to make this into a political issue. It isn't. Indict them all, the people that ordered torture, the people that knew about it, and the people who carried it out, and let the courts sort it out.
Let justice be done though the heavens fall.
Wow!! What a development!! Please!! This coming from the former speaker who HAD to resign due to ethic violations!!!! I just hope the Repukes keep trotting him out to make ridiculous comments so they will keep losing the faith of the American people. Please post Dick Cheney's comments soon-I can't wait!!!
And Newt is a big, fat windbag!!!
He has no idea what happened...maybe he should let an investigation ahppen and wait to make judgement as he has already done.
I notice he is not yelling for an investigation as to authorized waterboarding, which is torture.
No wonder the Repubs are losers with people such as Newt, Cheney and Rush being the faces of the party.
So newt, its ok for bush and cheney to lie to the country about torture but not for pelosi (assuming if she did in fact know)
Amen! Newt you speak for the country. Thank you
I actually hope Pelosi doesn't resign or gets thrown out. She's the best thing to happen to the Republican party in a long, long time.
Hey Nancy... if you were telling the truth, you wouldn't have had to keep referring to your notes in your press conference. You've been caught, Nancy. Give it up, Nancy.
Karma stinks, doesn't it, Nancy?
Torture is un-american and Newt G. should know it. Not that I support Pelosi on this (all democrats caved in during the Bush years) but please the Hollier-than-thou Gingrich should shut up.
Anybody else think this headline is a bit deceiving? Granted he used those words, but the context in the article was clearly different then the implied headline......just more sensationalism.
Pot meet kettle
HA! the biggest hypocrite the Republicans have is on the attack!
If Pelosi knew and is now lying, she should be OUT. NOW.
If she was briefed on what techniques were being used but couldn't say anything because of national security, then she should say that.
If the briefings are consistant with what she is saying, i.e., "We were briefed on methods that had been vetted, but not used" then there is a whole different set of circumstances.
In the end, the only way we are going to put this matter to rest is to have a COMPLETE investigation and all who devised, allowed, accepted and were complicit in the use of these methods of torture should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Regardles of party affiliation.
Let's clean up our act and be the country our fathers fought and died for.
It is funny to see Newt Gingrich, indeed ANY Republican, to start yapping about how lying politicians are damaging the party.
It is also curious that he is attacking Pelosi for lying about CIA torture memos rather than attacking Cheney and W. for authorizing the torture in the first place.
Newt is like Rush...saying outrageous nonsense to get attention...the hallmark of a pathetic poor excuse for a man with E.D.!
We aren't fooled Republicans... You twisted the truth like you always do. Lying is common practice in the GOP!
Hey Newt, think youre rising in the ranks, eh? Well fat boy, you republicans are on the wane and hope you stay that way.
Newt, it will serve you well directing your energy toward rebuilding the Grand OLD Party. Besides, what idiot would seek your advice on leadership?
Sounds like the GOP is sinking to new lows! (Just when you thought that they hit bottom.)
Pelosi was set up by the mean GOP machine. How dare you try to pin the Bush/Cheney reign of terror on her!
Does knowing about torture make it lawful? The more the Republicans stick to this nonsense of who knew what when ,the the more it becomes imperative to find out the truth and makes the Republicans the REAL losers. Find out the truth with a truth commission.
The question should be:who permitted the use of torture and when?
How can he call her a loser? She is in office. Newt isn't. Just think if the republicans would have won and followed the Bush wish list, where would social security be now if it had been invested in the stock market. Newt and his buddies are on the outside looking in. They are the TRUE losers; not Nancy!!
President Bush was a great President, Dick Cheney was a great Vice President, the Republican Party is the American Party. We now know how disaster the Democrats are in POWER. Looking forward to 2010 & 2012.