May 19th, 2009
06:27 PM ET
9 years ago

Hoyer says he backs Pelosi

Steny Hoyer is standing behind his colleague, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Steny Hoyer is standing behind his colleague, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Seeking to put an end to questions about what Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about waterboarding and demonstrate he is standing behind her, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday strongly defended the speaker.

"I want to be very clear because I think there's been some misinterpretation of my views. ... I believe the speaker," Hoyer told reporters. "I believe the speaker when she says she was not specifically briefed on the types of - in very polite terms - enhanced interrogation techniques that were being employed."

Last week Hoyer had to clarify comments he made that seemed to suggest he supported an investigation into what Pelosi knew about waterboarding. He insisted he was talking only about a probe focused on former Bush administration officials who authorized the harsh interrogation methods.

A former leadership rival of Pelosi, Hoyer blamed Republicans for the continued focus on the speaker, saying, "It continues to be a Republican tactic to distract the public from focusing on what was done, what the justification for doing it was, and for ... President Bush's comment that we don't torture."

Pressed further on how the speaker could put the issue behind her, the majority leader tried to turn the tables on the press. "Republicans are going to stay on it as long as you guys keep printing it, as long as it continues to be a television item - not about the substance, but about the distraction," he said. "As long as you want to feed on it, the Republicans will continue to feed you."

Hoyer characterized the speaker's support among House Democrats as "solid" and said not a single member has raised the issue with him on the House floor or in meetings.

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. ib

    He's dumb and stupid if he backs this woman.

    May 19, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. Mitchell from MS

    Good, you dems keep digging your own poltical graves. Elections are only a year away and this will be an issue for many fair minded Americans who want the best for their country and are not driven bu ideology.

    May 19, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Neil

    You know, if they UA my bus driver every 90 days, I think we should get a UA from these politicians. Especially Pelosi.

    May 19, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. Alicia

    All this drama, theatrics and the fact that Pelosi changed her story several times only makes Pelosi look guilty as sin!

    She should just admit she was wrong and stop lying to the American public.

    May 19, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Holy cow

    She has plenty of medical procedures (mostly cosmetics) the last one was lobotomy

    May 19, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Maggie

    White House full of nothing but trash......lying trash.

    May 19, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Ted Tartaglia

    This is typical Republic party manure. These neo-con morons will do anything to distract attention from their shortcomings. The Republics claim to be conservative but three forths of the national debt was run up during Republic administrations starting with the Republic party's icon Ronald Reagan. They are nothing but a bunch on pseudo religious whakos are nothing but a bunch of losers.

    Republics lied, people died.

    May 19, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. A Proud Arrogant American

    Bush is History, Pelosi is News. Pelosi believes if you say it loud and long enough, people wil believe it.

    May 19, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. SLM

    Fool, he should go too. She lied, was caught in her lies and continues to lie. Anyone who stands behind her needs a brain transplant. Go back and listen to her words, not the excuses being made by others.

    May 19, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Republicans are going to stay on it as long as you guys keep printing it, as long as it continues to be a television item — not about the substance, but about the distraction"

    That must have bristled some CNN?

    May 19, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. EVOLVE

    The Republicans violated the laws of this country and our ethical principles by torturing the captives. Millions of soldiers died over these principles and now the Republicans want to put up smoke screens and lies and try to shift the blame to Pelosi. Get real Party of "NO" this is your mess not Pelosi's.

    May 19, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. stormerF

    Hoyer would lie,he is a politican..The point is if The Republicans knew,than the Democrats knew,and if they all knew,they are all cupable..If an investigation showed they all knew then what??? You think they would do the Honorable thing and Resign,You would have to be as stupid as Barney Frank,Chris Dodd,Maxine Waters,Diane Fienstein,Chuck Schumer,and the rest of the fools in charge. To believe any thing would happen to any of them.

    May 19, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Sure am glad you guys printed this...I missed what he had said cuz I was so distracted by all that meaningless torture.

    May 19, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    SHe still a huge LIAR the media is covering it up because she a democrat socialist.

    May 19, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. Bethie

    Just another attempt to stir the pot by disgruntled Republicans. It's getting old. . . . . . . .

    May 19, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. whotoo

    The issue is not Pelosi saying that she was misinformed. The issue is that the American people were misinformed about the actual treat that confronted this country. Pelosi is just one of many Americans who happens to be working within the government.

    May 19, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. annie for Palin

    As much as I dislike pelosi and know she is not qualified for her job, it is still a little sad to see the president (dictator) of the USA sneaking around behind her back trying to get rid of her and reid will be next. bo wants so bad to replace them with chicago 'yes' men/women.

    May 19, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  18. donna

    You have finally found out out that three other Dems say the CIA memos are incorrect.
    Sen Graham says he had one briefing, the CIA memos say he had four briefings.
    Another Rep today wrote the CIA Director to say that one of his aides that the memos say was present was not.
    Sen Rockefeller says the memos are not right and he was not briefed as the CIA says either.
    Let's have the Truth Commission and investigate everyone.

    May 19, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. Peter

    Mr. Hoyer would be a better speaker of the house..

    May 19, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Marge

    Why should he even have to....newt is a liar big time, the CIA has lied over and over and over about their torture and their techniques. Goodness knows where to begin on bush and cheney and gonzales, so why should they have the air time to call Nancy Pelosi who has been backed up on what she said by the other democratic members of the intel committee.

    May 19, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. anton

    Pelosi has Been The One to inflict this on herself! Not the Republicans. She wouldn't stop nor back down so of course the Republicans and some Democrats are going to feed on the issue. For as many Lies Pelosi Used, Said and then to Lie about a Lie, Enough is Enough, always covering up for somebody in Congress and the White House. Start Holding Every Individual Accountable (Prosecute Them) for Their Actions ...............>Pelosi Should and Must follow the foot steps of Michael Martin<...............the Speaker of the House in the UK!

    May 19, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. YBM

    definition of a "typical" liberal citizen, non-politician: an out-of-work, kool-aid drinking, uneducated, public assistance receiving moron.

    Thank you "dominicanmomma 4 obama" for the definition.

    May 19, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. obama Dem

    darn it. . . was hoping the wolves might get to her, but these two knuckle heads interned under the same congressmen (seriously) way back when, I voted for changes . . .tweetle-dee and tweetle-dum wake up, I live in hoyers district, I'm not to sure how I'll be voting in 2010. . .

    May 19, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Perusing-through


    President Obama clearly laid out his case to look forward and move on. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on torture investigations. Now she has been caught in her own web.

    I agree that "what Nancy knew and when did she know it" . . . does not rise to the heights of those that broke national laws and international agreements. But Nancy should have followed Obama's lead and moved on.

    May 19, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. ken

    That's interesting. Democrats can lie to Congress and the American people but when Bush does it, off with his head. The truth is that all politicians need to be held accountable for the lies they tell. I hope the day comes when we actually have people in Washington DC that care about the people of this country as much as they care about themselves.

    May 19, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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