May 20th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
6 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. republicanturneddemocrat

    Um, isn't Newt Gingrich the man who served divorce papers to his ailing wife on her death bed who was dying from cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment in the hospital? At the same time having an affair...

    And we are supposed to listen to this man because why?.......

    I think Newt represents the GOP perfectly. Keep it up!

    May 20, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Debra from Georgia

    And this is coming from the cheater himself. Newt go climb under that rock you were under during the Bush era.

    May 20, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. frank, pennsylvannia

    Time for Gingrich to direct his quit from misplaced aggression and direct his talk to his republican folks to avoid torture. Gingrich please direct your aggression to your fellow republicans and stop seeking to be noticed by making inflammatory remarks! Your comments are neither contructive nor helpful in making our society progressive and secure. Your comments are selfish and aimed at getting notice and attention!

    May 20, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. The Unshrub

    Won't this wind bag ever shut up. He has no purpose other than to try to destroy Democrats. He resigned from Congress because he failed and the American public voiced their dislike of him. It's now time he once again gets the message that the vast majority of people dislike him and want him to go away.

    May 20, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Bonny Melita

    I do not like or trust Gingriach...He is a wanna be Speaker of the House
    again...he was booted out then..Very sinister person in my opinion
    I remember how he treated his dying wife...Loves being in the spot
    light.

    May 20, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Independent

    You know I'm not a huge fan of Nancy but it appears that Repubs are ALWAYS playing politics.....Where is the outcry over Bush and Crew lying to us about Iraq

    May 20, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Sniffit

    Newtarded.

    May 20, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. frank, pennsylvannia

    Gingrich please direct your aggression to your fellow republicans and stop seeking to be noticed by making inflammatory remarks! Your comments are neither contructive nor helpful in making our society progressive and secure. Your comments are selfish and aimed at getting notice and attention!

    May 20, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Monrob

    Why isn't this man dead yet?

    May 20, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. John in Austin

    Why isn't anyone going after the people who REALLY approved and knew about torture?!?!

    Go after Rice, Cheney, and Bush! They are the REAL WAR CRIMINALS!!

    May 20, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Jeff in Virginia

    Why should Pelosi resign?

    The only evidence that she is lying are the words of Leon Panetta, who has since refused to clarify his stance on the matter.

    May 20, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Scott

    Because Newt is such a virtuous and honest person he has the right to speak, correct? Newt needs to shut his yap and CNN needs to return to the real story: the Bush Administration tortured, lied about it and created incompetent legal justifications to do so.

    May 20, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. SENSIBLE MIKE

    I agree with this but its not Newt that needs to say this. Republicans need moderates to come out with this. As the third in line to the President we can't have someone in a position like that who has a grudge against the CIA and vice versa. Sorry Nancy, you're time is up.

    May 20, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. phoenix86

    If Pelosi were a man, she would be out already.

    She needs to resign her position as Speaker, then San Francisco should retire her permanently.

    May 20, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. James M. Holmes

    Maybe CNN could stop printing GOP propaganda and it could actually tell people about the 4 other members of Congress who state they were "misled" by the CIA too?

    Personally, I think Pelosi has the GOP falling into her trap... BY making herself a target, she will get teh GOP to agree to teh "Truth Commision" she wants... which in turn will show that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeild are WAR CRIMINALS!

    May 20, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Truth Be Told

    Okay, why is no one else attacking Nancy Pelosi anymore but Newt Gingrich? It appears that Newt Gingrich has a personal bone to pick with Nancy and wants to ruin her career...maybe it's payback...who cares? Nancy Pelosi has been a great public servant and her name shouldn't be tarnished because Newt wants to pout for a moment. If Newt thinks the American public can't see through this, he's very special indeed.

    May 20, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. John K

    Wisdom from "the conscience" of the House!

    May 20, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Roger

    Who in their right mind cares what Gingrich thinks or wants to do....he is a disgrace to human kind....look at how he treated his wives then he was using his "religious right wing agenda" againist Bill Clinton when he was messing around with Monica & he was having an affair with his secretary....Pelosi walks on water compared to this hypocrite....

    May 20, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Simmy

    Gingrich is so 19th century......Pelosi is a strong woman....She's not easily intimidated, so he and other Republicans hate her........She's not going anywhere.....The first sign of your party's demise, was when Joe the Plumber, an opportunity seeking reject, rejected you...

    May 20, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Ad West

    It's strange to me that the loudest voices from the GOP are not currently elected representatives, yet they still get all of the attention. The media should focus more on the employees that voters actually put into office. Newt is on the outside, desperately trying to be in.

    May 20, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Nick the DEM

    Nick a democrat from chicago, Illinois here.

    I have no confidence in Nancy Pelosi... she's clearly lying here... and mark my words, this is the beginning of the end of her service as speaker. She picked the wrong battle... whether it happens sooner or later the CIA will have the dirt on her to even the score.

    May 20, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. rker321

    Why can't Mr. Gingich understand that he like many other Republicans, have become "irrelevant". As a discontented Republican, we need new direction for a "new and comprehensive " Party, and not the "oldies but certainly not the goodies"

    May 20, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Jay

    Mr. Gingrich, Don't try to be smart on this matter, you and all GOP are well aware the situation we are in . What have you (GOP)done in last 8 years other than run down the economy, Jobs ,health care ,education and two wars. Speaker Pelosi you stick to your view and let American people know what they (GOP) did....................

    May 20, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. echoo

    They are just picking on her because they can't target the president! They are just out for blood to help them heal their wounds of defeat. The only thing the GOP can do is tear people down, well I for one have had enough of them! I switched parties and if they think they can win me back with this crap they are wrong! They have no ideas, no plans, no leaders and no idea how to govern the people of the USA!

    May 20, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Jason D

    Cnn, Why do you continue to post articles about Newt? He is a nothing, a nobody. He's a moron as well. He can't even win a local Georgia election. He's the biggest loser I've ever seen in politics. Is CNN saying that this is the best the Republican party can do?

    May 20, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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