May 17th, 2009
02:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Reliable Sources: Pelosi's presser performance

A trio of journalists weighed in Sunday about Speaker Pelosi's recent press conference on CNN's Reliable Sources.
A trio of journalists weighed in Sunday about Speaker Pelosi's recent press conference on CNN's Reliable Sources.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) performance at Thursday's press conference received a harsh evaluation from Reliable Sources’ political panel Sunday morning.

Pelosi said Thursday that the CIA "was misleading the Congress."

Roger Simon, chief political columnist for The Politco, told CNN's Howard Kurtz that Pelosi may have dug herself in an even deeper hole.

"If she had hung a sign around her neck saying 'I am lying,' she could not have done worse...She was terrible."

Pelosi has been under fire this week for conflicting statements she made on whether or not she was briefed by the CIA about so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as waterboarding, being used on terror suspects.

Simon said the media's performance wasn't any better than Pelosi's.

"She didn't know what she said. She couldn't decide on what she didn't know what she said. And I think the media this time was just neutral filters for what she was saying."

Michael Medved, a conservative radio talk show host, said the media has done a good job of pressing Pelosi on what she knew and when she knew it. He added, however, that the press is ignoring the trouble this could cause the Obama administration.

"I think they're being pretty tough. And I think it's appropriate. The big story here that I don't think people are picking up is the splintering of this unified Democratic party... President Obama does not want Congress or the nation obsessed with the interrogation issue," Medved said.

Liberal radio talk show host Stephanie Miller said the chronology of Pelosi's briefings should not be a central issue.

"The issue is not what Nancy Pelosi knew or when she knew it. It's who ordered the torture and torture is illegal."


Filed under: CIA • Nancy Pelosi • State of the Union
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Barbara Campbell

    Nobody but the divisive neocons care what Pelosi knew in 2002, when the Democrats had no power in Washington. Let's keep our eyes on the real ball – the Republicans' abuse of the US Constitution and their wrecking of our economy and our international reputation.

    May 17, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. David in West Virginia

    If the CIA is accusing Speaker Pelosi of lying, then it is up to them to provide the truth. The matter is the Republican Adm. under Bush and Cheney waterboarded and tortured regardless of who knew what and it's a crime. Come on NEWS MEDIA, get with the real story. Remember, the CIA had no secretarial notes of meeting so who is to say that they did or didn't tell her about their misdeeds. And we all know that the republicans were in power at the time and she was under secrecry not to tell anyone about their techniques. Americans aren't stupid and neither should be the MEDIA. If the news media did their jobs, we would not be where we are in this point and time in history. Their lack of professionalism is the primary cause for the War in Iraq and Torture. the MEDIA today doesn't get it.

    May 17, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Grrrr-Awful-O

    Pelosi has been in Congress for too long and is now taking liberties she should not take for the sake of politics. Throwing the CIA under the bus for her own political agenda is just going to far, playing too fast and lose. It's time for Pelosi to retire and make room for some new blood – and she has made that abundantly clear this past week as she has crossed one line too many.

    May 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. Larry from RI

    What – the CIA LIED?

    How is that news – it is what they do best and history is full of accusations, criminal convictions and Presidential pardons that proves it!

    May 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Obama - NOPE

    Pelosi is a horrible person, interested only in saving her own repulsive skin.

    May 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Grammarian

    Pundits have been naive. There are loopholes and escape hatches for everyone.

    Pelosi says she was "misled" . . . but that's a few shades different from saying the CIA lied. Panetta says Pelosi was "truthfully informed" . . . but that doesn't mean Pelosi was fully informed. Moreover, Panetta bases his comment on "contemporaneous records" . . . but Panetta doesn't know whether these records were accurate. He wasn't the person who kept them. He wasn't even present. Does anyone believe CIA briefings are always accurate? How about the one where the CIA director said the proof that Iraq had WMD was a "slam-dunk"?

    Everyone skates. This is no big deal.

    May 17, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. neil

    We have gone from the lies of republicans to the truth challenged democrats, NO CHANGE

    May 17, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Sarah K.

    I am amazed at the number of people who have said they "don't care if Nancy Pelosi is lying." Really??? It is all right ofr the Speaker of the House to lie about matters of national security. Is there a different standard for the Democrats. Don't throw this off on the BUsh Administration.....stick to the issues of this story. Is she lying or isn't she.

    May 17, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. xddy4u

    To HELL with who misled whom. Who in the Hell AUTHORIZED this should be the main focus. How in the HELL did Pelosi got to be the main Character in this Waterboarding BS? What about Bush Channey, Rice and Rumfield? Why is the Media hell bent on continuing this BS when they know good and well Pelosi is being made a scapegoat. This Country ain't (S)HIT.

    May 17, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. the rector

    Another obama ally who turns out to be a liar. I think I see a pattern here, lets waterboard her for awhile and see what else she has lied about. Just kidding. All we really have to do is just wait for her to implode and then the rats will start jumping ship with the details. Ah Washington!

    May 17, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Wileysee

    The only sure way to get Nancy Pelosi to tell the truth about her knowledge of waterboarding is for her to become a participant in the waterboarding process. By doing this the American public will get both the truth from Pelosi and as an added benefit, it will undoubtedly show the need for this type mechanism to get at the truth...at least from politicians.

    May 17, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Charles Chips

    Keep your eyes on the ball, people. Pelosi's press briefing was definitely puzzling. And my guess is that we'll find the truth someday soon. But meanwhile, the important thing is the actual crimes of the Bush administration. Everything else is a repug smokescreen being sent up to divert our attention

    May 17, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. the rector

    Yeah Wayne, you may be right. The problem is he won't say or do a thing about it because he has an aggressively federalist agenda and needs every vote he can get before the mid terms. Then he will loose his puppet congress and actually have to give a little to the other two thirds of the country. Yeah the math is right, half of sixty seven percent of the potential voters is only one third of the peoples voice. Please look it up for yourselves, and while your at it check out how much money they spent to get that thirty five percent. CHANGE we can believe in.

    May 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. 4 and the door

    Actually, this issue about what Nancy knew, when she knew it and what she did about it are trivial. I don't like Nancy Pelosi because she's just plain wrong about so many other things in so many ways. Big things like the economy and how it works, government spending and government's role in bailouts, defense, these things that are not trivial at all.

    May 17, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. mike

    Being from the Left Coast, I can assure everyone that when Pelosi constantly blinks, she is lying.

    Trust me.

    May 17, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. Cobra Montana

    Water board all the terrorist we can catch, oh yes, Pelosi could just as well join the group being water boarded to get some truth out of her.

    May 17, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Mac

    Everybody keeps pointing to the Bush administration for all its faults but you keep forgetting that CONGRESS agreed with them the whole time! They agreed on the war, economy, interrogation, etc. You didn't hear a whole lot of objections while all of this was happening. It's only when it's politically benefitical do they start to speak up. If you want to punish Bush/Cheney then you need to go after all who knew and did nothing, whether they are Republicans or Democrats!

    You can't have it both ways. If you are really concerned about justice then your political views don't matter anymore. If you are only after one side then you are a hypocrit!

    May 17, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. John, NC

    Pelosi would serve her country well if she resigned.

    May 17, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  19. alvino

    So if I understand you right wing nuts, you think it is OK to give the order to torture KSM, but if a person knew about it after the fact, she should be thrown out of office.

    Those who broke the law should be held to account, and if Pelosi is involved in a cover up of the Bush whitehouse, she should go to prison as well.

    May 17, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. gary

    Honestly, I'd respect her if she just said these words: "look i'm sorry, the CIA did not mislead me. I was briefed on these methods before and after the waterboarding. I didn't like it but I didn't speak up because it was a scary time. There were sleeper cells in the US and around the world and I guess I just wanted to make sure we did everything we could to save innocent lives. I'd like to tell you that if I could do it over again I would object to waterboarding but honestly it depends. We have real enemies who want to kill us, who don't even value their own lives let alone lives of innocent people. I feel sick about it but maybe that waterboarding help use arrest a few cells and prevent a few tradgic events." I'm not crazy about torture either but that kind of honesty I could really respect.

    May 17, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. alvino

    The GOP has been trying to undermine the Obama administration, but have just discovered that it has made the GOP look worse. So now, their plan is to go after the very unpopular speaker of the house. After they dispense with her, look out Harry Reid.

    They believe that strategy should get them a majority in congress in 2010.

    May 17, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. Peter E

    Pelosi needs to resign immediately! She is not helping herself, her own party, her president, or anyone in the country by staying in Congress! She is a burden and liability to all!

    May 17, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. Dbow Queen City

    Hey CNN – I have gone several months. Come back and you are still whack.

    May 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  24. Raymond Morris

    I enjoy your program. I feel Pelosi should resign. Republicans have RUSH and the Democrats have Stephanie Miller. Tell to keep her top on and don't invite her back. I guess to be a radio host your IQ is only exceeded by your shoe size.

    May 17, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  25. DL

    I have no problem if the investigation leads to Pelosi, and she does need to be removed. But this is just a feeble attempt to pass the buck, start the investigation at the top, lets be fair about it, and lets get them all, lets find out who knew what when, and who authorized, Pelosi's just a small fish in a large pond that the republicans want to make a scapegoat.

    May 17, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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