May 17th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP leader on Pelosi's claim: Provide proof or apologize

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner turned up the heat Sunday in the escalating war of words between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional Republicans, and the CIA over Pelosi’s knowledge of enhanced CIA interrogation techniques including water boarding.

Last week, Pelosi claimed that the CIA had misled herself and other members of Congress about whether it was actually using water boarding to obtain information from high-profile detainees during 2002 intelligence briefings.

The Ohio Republican said Pelosi should provide evidence that she was misled or apologize to the country’s intelligence community.

“Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime,” Boehner said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And if the Speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department [for possible prosecution].”

“And if that’s not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world.”

After challenging Pelosi, Boehner sounded the praises of the nation’s intelligence gathering apparatus. “I’ve dealt with these people for three-and-a-half years on an almost daily basis,” Boehner told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “And I can tell you that I have never felt that I was misled. I’ve never felt that I’ve been lied to.”

The House Minority Leader described the information he’s received in intelligence briefings as “thorough” and “complete.” “They want to answer questions,” Boehner said describing the intelligence professionals he’d dealt with, “and there’s always, always an opportunity to object.”

“And Speaker Pelosi has, at times, objected to activities that were approved by the president. Those activities were changed as a result of her objection . . . in the intelligence environment.”

Boehner refused to say Sunday whether he thought it would be appropriate for the House of Representatives should begin an inquiry into whether Pelosi had lied about national security matters.

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Filed under: CIA • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Andi

    This is insane. Nancy Pelosi is now to blame and the Right is demanding she is investigated, steps down, apologizes, etc.

    She should be punished instead of Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc?

    I think I'm insane....

    May 17, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Glen in Los Angeles

    Isn't the time period in question the same time period in which the CIA said the probability of WMDs in Iraq was a "slam dunk"?

    May 17, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. MESA MICK

    NO Bohner, YOU prove it! I know your a rethuglicant congressman so you probably don't know this about our laws, but in this country you are innocent untill proven guilty.
    Again Bohner, PROVE IT!

    May 17, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Greg

    You Republicans are so crazy. Did Bush Resign for lying to the Nation? Did Cheney resign for constantly lying to the Nation. Why should Peposi resign? You are a bunch of sore losers. You can't stand not to be in control of everything. Shame on the Party of "NO"

    May 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. lynn in NM

    Nancy is trying to cover her ample derriere. When will politicians learn that if you say "I'm sorry. I was wrong." things will go much better rather than lying about it and being caught in the lie? We all know politicians lie. That's a given. However, be "man" enough to stand up and say you lied. She has started backpedaling already. #1 sign of a lie.

    May 17, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Larry

    How about the CIA or the Republicans PROVING she is lying

    WHAT A JOKE THESE REPUBLICANS ARE ...

    The Party of NO ... conscience

    May 17, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Patti

    And has Boehner ever apologized for any of his words? He and Newt should realize that nobody cares what they say. Boehner has proven to be just as narrow minded and ridiculous as Newt! Newt was thrown out. If Boehner keeps acting like Newt, perhaps his part in all this will service and he will be throw out too!! CAREFUL WHO YOU THROW STONES AT BOEHNER, NEWT, THEY MAY COME BACK TO SMACK YOU IN THE FACE!!

    May 17, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. John P

    Ms Pelosi is a loose cannon. Take out the powder and the ball and let her roll around somewhere else . . . She is not doing the Democrat image much good right now.

    May 17, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. adamwallenta

    How come they don't ask them same from Bush and his crew?

    May 17, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Jeff in SF

    Don't look at the main issue, look at this sideshow over here!

    It hardly matters who was told when about the torture regime, what matters is who instituted it and why.

    May 17, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. Debbie

    Nice attempt by the Republicans to distract the issue from "Who ordered the torture and was it illegal" to "who knew about it". So, knowing about the crime is worse than the crime itself? Funny how up in arms they get over Pelosi knowing about torture but don't give a hoot about Cheney ordering it. Nice set of priorities! So Republicans, your outrage is laughable and can not be taken seriously. I thought torturing was ok with you?

    May 17, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. 2Nurselady

    As Democrats, we should be ignoring this attempt by the Republicans to sidetrack us. It is absurd that we give them the time of day. We elected DEMOCRATS to the White House for a reason! Now, our Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama, need to make a VERY CLEAN break from the Bush administration and the Republican Party and do what THE PEOPLE elected them to do! I am afraid President Obama is setting us up for failure right now with his having retained some of what Bush maintained in his administration. DON'T DO IT! We elected you to bring the CHANGE you promised. Now, do that! No complacency. No hemming and hawing. No games. The Republican Party is doing whatever it can to take advantage of Barack Obama's wish to pattern his Presidency after President Lincoln, but the Republicans of today are NOT the Republicans of yesteryear. It may not be a dream the President will be able to fulfill in its entirety as he wishes. But, it should be the dream the American People elected him to fufill for us. We do not want another Bush White House – not any little piece of it. We want sweeping change. We elected his President to bring us that sweeping change. Stop pandering to the right. They are not going to play fairly and we, The People, are going to suffer for it!

    As for Pelosi, she is responsible for her failure which is pretty glaring, IMO. I think it is a shameful legacy she will have to live with. But, by no means, does this warrant any further attention. Stop giving it the attention it does not deserve. Make things as right as you can and then turn your attention very quickly to your job – and, do your job. Simple as that. Ignore the whining and the attempts to pull us off track in bringing single-payer healthcare and getting our troops out of Iraq, etc.. The things that are far more important than worrying about what the Republicans think or seeking their approval. They are NOT going to approve. So, move on and do what is right by the standards and values of those who put you where you are today.

    May 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Mike

    Crazy CIA, How about they provide us with the transcript of what they told Nancy. The CIA brought it up and since they have made a CLAIM they they should have hard evidence to back their CLAIM, She did not start it she only rebuffed a statement that was false, she DOES NOT have to prove anything.

    AND TO BE HONEST WE THE CIA SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN USING TORTURE TECHNIQUES ANY WAY

    May 17, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Jerry

    The republicants are just trying to take the pressure off of themselves. They were the ones that did the deed. Now if you even had an idea of what was happening some how you are more guilty than them. What a smoke screen.

    May 17, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Larry

    This is a complete NON-ISSUE ...

    If the CIA briefed her, they must have records ...

    Unlike the three Bogus dates that they gave Graham last week ...
    suggesting their briefs with him ... three of the dates were proven and admitted as bogus by the CIA just days later

    This Republican NON-ISSUE is simply a distraction so as to keep what really went on a secret

    Like no WMDs, and the Bush administrations lying to everyone about all their little secrets

    REPUBLICANS ,,, The Party Of NO ... new ideas

    A bunch of dead heads in suits ...

    May 17, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. GuyA

    This makes no sense at all. How come now they want to prosecute Pelosi, but whenever anything was brought up about Bush, they were adamant to get behind his back and say "torturing helped the country." Just in case they forgot, Bush not only lied about national security matters, but he instigated the entire torture thing. If Pelosi ends up getting prosecuted for something as as stupid as this, I surely hope that Bush goes to jail for life.

    May 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. michigan needs jobs!

    “Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime,” Boehner said.
    -------
    Weapons of mass destruction anyone? How about Valerie Plame? Why is the GOP suddenly so concerned about intelligence? When they were in charge, they twisted any intelligence for their own ends! They really are delusional.

    May 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Bob

    If Nancy wants to go after folks who knew about these interrogation methods that is fine. However, if she knew and did nothing, then she needs to acknowledge this and be lined up in their ranks. I think this is all a ploy to make the issue of "advanced interrogation methods" go away. Sorta like...."if we go down, you are coming with us"....mentality. I hate politics and I can't stand politicians.

    May 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Alex

    Pelosi – " I did not have briefing with that agency." LOL....Hoisted by her own petard.

    Bohner doesn't have to prove it. Clinton's ex-Cheif of Staff Leon Panetta did with his memo on Friday.

    Obama may just be change we can believe in. He ain't a pawn of the left.

    May 17, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    In light of the way the new administration wants to conduct business and the way majority leader Pelosi is ranting, Iit is my sincere hope that our military on the field of battle will NEVER AGAIN take captives or prisoners. They tend to create problems. Teave them where you encounter them, and leave them DEAD so they will never again challenge you or put your life in danger.

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. tom

    Boehner has a point however, Bush and that ass Cheney is/was wayyyy worse than Pelosi so he can honestly get a reality check

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. JLS

    Once again the dems are showing their true colors. Poeple, when you accuse somebody of something, if you are a responsible ADULT, either prove it or apologize. Why is it Pelosi can accuse the CIA of lying, but then doesn't have to prove it?? We know that other dems, like Billy Boy Clinton got this one right. Lie, then blame those who catch you. Unbelievable!!

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. Carl W Smelcer

    Whats "one" more "lie" coming out of Washington? It happens every day. Sure don't seem like new news to me. We lived thru eight years of lies and nobody did anything about it.

    May 17, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. bill

    republicans, you gotta love em. ruined our economy with "do what you want wall street " with no controls, an illegal war, torture our enemy, ruined our relationships with other countries now saying BE HONEST, TELL THE TRUTH. wow. an illegal war that had the president of our country lie to us to justify the war in Iraq???? now, blaming others??? Lincoln would be so proud of this group.

    May 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Larry

    The Republicans should be the ones APOLOGIZING ...

    To the American people, for all the BS and lies they have been professing TO ALL OF US for 8 years

    Give Me A Break ...

    Republicans ... The Party Of NO ... MORALS

    May 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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