May 20th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
5 years ago

Gingrich says time for Pelosi to resign

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to resign her leadership post Tuesday, days after deriding the California Democrat as a "trivial politician" over her description of what the CIA has told her about aggressive government interrogation techniques.

In a column for the conservative publication Human Events, the former House Speaker takes aim at Pelosi's press conference last week, during which she said the CIA did not tell her in 2002 that it used the aggressive interrogation technique of waterboarding. She went on to allege the CIA routinely misleads Congress.

"She charged that the CIA, deliberately and as a matter of policy, violated the law by lying to Congress," Gingrich writes in the column. "And with that allegation, Speaker Pelosi disqualified herself from the office she holds."

"Speaker Pelosi has damaged America's safety," Gingrich also writes. "She's made America less secure by sending a signal to the men and women defending our country that they can't count on their leaders to defend them."

In an interview on ABC Wednesday, Gingrich elaborated on his comments, saying CIA agents aren't likely to trust Pelosi with sensitive information going forward given her allegation.

"If you were a CIA agent today and you were told to brief Nancy Pelosi, how could you have any sense of confidence in telling her anything?" Gingrich said.

A Democratic leadership aide Wednesday called Gingrich's comments a "political ploy."

"This is an ethically challenged former Speaker of the House who is out to sell books," the aide said.

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday also appeared to rally behind Pelosi, with her No. 2, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, saying he believes the speaker is being truthful in her statements about 7-year-old briefings.

"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," Hoyer told reporters Wednesday. "As long as you want to feed on it, the Republicans will continue to feed you."

Meanwhile, one of Pelosi's closest allies in the House, Connecticut Democrat John Larson, acknowledged to CNN that the Speaker's news conference last week could have been better, but insisted there hasn't been any fallout among Democrats.

"Perhaps it wasn't one of her best press conferences. But certainly everyone in this caucus stands behind her to be the lead in our caucus. I don't know if it could have been done better or not, but our caucus is entirely behind her," he said.

– CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Just last night on the Daily Show, Gingrich said he wasn't calling on Pelosi to resign... and he said that knowing that his Human Events article was already slated to come out.

    Got you on tape, Newt. Pelosi may be a liar, but she's not the only one.

    May 20, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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