Pelosi blasts GOP calls for State Department probe
October 2nd, 2012
05:58 PM ET
2 years ago

Pelosi blasts GOP calls for State Department probe

(CNN) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted House Republicans Tuesday for requesting a hearing next week on the State Department's handling of last month's deadly consulate attack in Libya.

With Congress in recess for the campaign season, Pelosi argued on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that if the GOP wants to look into the Libya issue, they should return for votes on other pending legislation, as well.

Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"We're supposed to be in session this week, but they've canceled it rather than passing a middle income tax cut, passing a jobs bill, passing the Violence Against Women Act, passing the farm bill–any of those things," Pelosi said. "But yet they have time to say we want information, when they know it's premature."

Asked if she was suggesting the hearing was called for political purposes, Pelosi replied: "One might suspect that."

Earlier Tuesday, GOP Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, demanding answers to questions about the violence in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The congressmen argued the State Department had ample warning signs and could have prevented the tragedy using heightened security.

Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, and Chaffetz oversees the national security subcommittee. Chaffetz is also a top surrogate for the Romney campaign.

Pelosi, however, argued it was too soon to demand conclusive answers, as investigations in Benghazi are still under way.

"I think it's important to note that Congress does have a right to know, but the secretary and the Department of State have to have the information," Pelosi said on CNN. "How can you ask the secretary to come before the information is known?"

She added House Republicans had shot down "$300 million" in funds for the State Department, including "funding for security."

Pressed on whether she was implying the U.S. didn't have enough money to protect American diplomats in Libya, Pelosi said, "No."

"What I'm saying in Congress has the right of oversight, but it also has the power of the purse," she said. "Nobody's going to know by next week, but we have to have a full investigation and accountability for it but we also have to look to ourselves in terms of that funding question."

– CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • House • Nancy Pelosi • State Department • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. DJ

    Dems are blasting is what I meant that the GOP is asking for more information

    October 2, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Jo

    Congress and Issa should all be tried for treason for failure to do the work the people elected them to do.

    October 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Wolfgal

    Heaven forbid the investigation reveals incompetence and arrogance at various levels. Wow, can't have that! Doesn't this simply prove the current administration has too much to hide???

    October 2, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. miki thinks

    When about a dozen marines were bombed under Reagan, we invaded Granada. When 911 killed people on our soil, we invaded iraq. Both responses had nothing to do with the people who attacked. Libya has arrested the people that it has deemed responsible, and exiled groups conected with the deaths. In the first two responses, more Americans died and the criminals were not caught. In the third, we worked with the country involved, and perhaps, avided WWIII. I agree with Pelosi, if they come back for a political dust up, let them take up real problems.

    October 2, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Jeckers

    I totally disagree with Ms. Pelosi on this one. We still have embassys open in the Middle East. We still have American citizens over there as well. We need to determine what happened in order to prevent it from happening again. Although this attack took place in Libya, don't forget that the Egyptian embassy was undergoing conflict as well. It was enought that Larry Schwartz put out the "apology" – probably in fear of his life and the other embassy employees. I don't buy her argument about needing all of the facts because, frankly, the Adminstration already put out what their position was before they had all of the "facts". It appears that there was either a breakdown in communication or a lack of funding – either way, we need to get to the bottom of this fast. So – I don't disagree with the Republicans representatives wanting answers yesterday.

    I am disappointed that Congress is on vacation until after the election. Perhaps there is a good reason for it – but I think, given the severe financial situation that we are in, everyone needs to put their partisan beliefs aside and start doing what is right for those who elected them in office.

    October 2, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Evergreen

    The attack on the embassy is tragic. But it is a reminder that we are still at war with terroists and that the middle east is both a dangerous place and a place we must engage if we want to achieve world peace.

    October 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oh, come on, Nancy. Lighten up. After all, Issa has to look like he is doing somehting, After all, he isn't doing anything to help all those welfare-receiving, White, Southern Republicans who could really use some jobs since WIllard closed their mills and moved the work to China.

    October 2, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom

    How about the Republicans calling for the arrest of the man who created the anti-Islam video that killed 4 Americans????

    I have been smelling a rat, a Conservative rat!

    October 2, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Borderless

    Pelosi lost her credibility a long time ago. She is a sad, shrill, vacuous individual...a crazy aunt that shrieks on and on about conspiracies and evil. She stands as a strong argument that public representatives should be screened for mental illness and intelligence in order to serve and she is a poster child for term limits.

    October 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Put up till november then all of the congress thugs will be removed...

    October 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  11. not in WI

    Oh my god! Somebody please pull the broom out from under this witch! What's wrong with California that they keep voting to keep her on the payroll?

    October 2, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Joan

    Maybe someone should tell Darryl Issa, Jaon Chafftz, Peter King and their friends that it's a little early for a witch hunt. Hallowe'een isn't until October 31st. Many intelligent, experienced people in foreign affairs have given sensible reports about the Libyan tragedy and more will be explained in due time. All embassies are dangerous and probably have constant threats. It's a dangerous world. It seems they are bringing up the Fast and Furious issue again too. Has anyone bothered to see how many guns went missing and how many people were hurt during the last administration since that is when this whole plan initiated? Also, has anyone checked how many people have died because of the lax gun laws in many states, particurly Arizona? You know that many people around the world think Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should have been charged with war crimes since they lied about WMD's in Iraq and invaded, occupied and devastated a sovereign country just because the leader had "tried to kill Bush's daddy". How many innocent people died there? It seems the Republicans are throwing everything they can at the wall to see how much will stick. Hopefully the media and sensible people will recognize it for what it is and make informed decisions. They seem to be getting desperate and you know they are trying to pull out all the stops. Everyone should be aware of their motives. By the way, has there been any investigating done to see who the film maker who made the disgusting movie associated with for the last six to twelve months and who may have backed him financially or suported him in other ways. It just doesn't seem plausible that he could do it all in a vacuum. He must have had help and they should all be exposed. That all seems to have been swept under the rug. It is going to be a really interesting month.

    October 2, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. Sue

    If they actually refused that $300 million for security then they can wait until all the facts are in regarding the embassy attacks like the rest of us. If they don't want to work on the bills that would help the majority of the American people because they dont fit their party's policy then they should be replaced. They said when President Obama was elected that their priority for the last 4 years would be to make sure he'd be a one term president, at any cost, and they've all done their best to keep him from doing what was best. If their loyalty to their party is more important. To them than their work on behalf of the country then they can find a way to help the country deal with the consequences of their arrogance.

    October 2, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Howard

    Pelosi ??? Does anybody actually listen to what this witch has to say ??? Pelosi has zero credibility !!!

    October 2, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  15. Anthony... proud tax payer

    If the GOP is calling for a stat department probe for those attacks.. then surely they must want an all out investigation into Bush and his cabinet's role in 9-11.....

    October 2, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. Robertmiii

    So, the house Republicans who had no time to pass legislation to help our farmers and unemployed have all the time in the world to schedule an emergency hearing about Benghazi? It’s strange how the GOP has decided to rush this investigation? It’s obvious they want to impact the election in Mitt Romney’s favor on the backs of dead Americans, even Ambassador Stevens…

    This hearing is essentially a political Kangaroo court to smear the President of the United States…

    Yet, knowing this CNN continues to give the topic prime time with Wolf Blitzer and the GOP operative Frances Townsend…

    Pathetic, using the dead in Benghazi to get a few votes for Mitt Romney and increase TV ratings…

    October 2, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. Ryche

    Ugh. The hypocrisy from this woman is dripping. They left those 4 naked in a hostile country. Knowing an attack was possible. Even after being asked for extra security. Then attempting to blame it on a movie nobody ever saw. All to cover up their incompetence. No one ever mentions the riots and deaths that were spurred by the coverage it received after our government decided to draw attention to the movie. And pelosi has the nerve to talk about the republicans blocking a bill. A bill packed with pork.

    October 2, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  18. uncdig

    the wicked witch of the west complaining about getting Americans the truth. This from the lady who stated that she & her husbands insider trading on information was completely ethical & legal because the rules said they could. If the wicked witch of the west would like to open her mouth more for intelligent conversation vs self serving nasty spells, America might listen. But no – she is just another political hack who would have been waiting table (I apologize to all of the hard working waitresses & waiters in advance) if she wasnt in politics. Even then she wouldnt make much money

    October 2, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  19. CBR

    Good for Nancy Pelosi. These investigations are busy work and nothing more. The legislators are trying to get the public to think there is a problem. The truth is this is an opportunity to allow staffers to do research. Watch these hearings and see what happens. The questions are usually asked after the senator or representative gives a long-winded spiel which includes the members take on the situation. Then come the question. Then the rest of us just scratch our heads and wonder what is happening.

    October 2, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Larry

    Between now and the election (and for the past two years) the republicans will consider everything that happens as political fodder. Did you notice how quick Romney jumped on the deaths of Americans in Libya? If a plane or train arrives at the airport or train station late it will require an investigation of all democrats and their families dating back 10 years. Screw the GOP – I'm long since done with them forever for their lack of work in congress.

    October 2, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  21. mikle

    This woman need to be in mental institution. Pass Obamacare and after we will study .

    October 2, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. larry5

    When Nancy speaks you can just see Obama's lips move a little bit. Their act is very polished and looks real. That's because she is well rehearsed and sticks tot he script. Have some sympathy though. When her job was down graded by the votes of stupid citizens she had to down grade her government supplied jet airplane, too. Now here 200 strong traveling staff has to scramble to make flights. So, be nice to her. The pressure is on and her boss is getting nervous and crabby.

    October 2, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. Thomas

    After fast and furious , and all the time and money wasted on speculation without facts. Darrell Issa needs to start a new kiddy comity based here say and GOP contempt .

    Not since "Joe" McCarthy has a politician been so aggressively arrogant , with grandstanding the only end result .

    Did Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday character frequently implore informants to provide 'Just the facts,
    Darrell Issa is no Sgt. Joe Friday !

    October 2, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Don Davis

    I firmly believe harry reid and nancy pelosi should be married as they are both nasty people that would not know the truth if it looked them in the face. Can't you guys in california and Nevada find some better folks to represent you.

    October 2, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It goes along with the teapublicans who don't want to spend money on anything. I can't imagine what they would spend money on.

    October 2, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
1 2