May 17th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP leader on Pelosi's claim: Provide proof or apologize

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Minority Leader John Boehner turned up the heat Sunday in the escalating war of words between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional Republicans, and the CIA over Pelosi’s knowledge of enhanced CIA interrogation techniques including water boarding.

Last week, Pelosi claimed that the CIA had misled herself and other members of Congress about whether it was actually using water boarding to obtain information from high-profile detainees during 2002 intelligence briefings.

The Ohio Republican said Pelosi should provide evidence that she was misled or apologize to the country’s intelligence community.

“Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime,” Boehner said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And if the Speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department [for possible prosecution].”

“And if that’s not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world.”

After challenging Pelosi, Boehner sounded the praises of the nation’s intelligence gathering apparatus. “I’ve dealt with these people for three-and-a-half years on an almost daily basis,” Boehner told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “And I can tell you that I have never felt that I was misled. I’ve never felt that I’ve been lied to.”

The House Minority Leader described the information he’s received in intelligence briefings as “thorough” and “complete.” “They want to answer questions,” Boehner said describing the intelligence professionals he’d dealt with, “and there’s always, always an opportunity to object.”

“And Speaker Pelosi has, at times, objected to activities that were approved by the president. Those activities were changed as a result of her objection . . . in the intelligence environment.”

Boehner refused to say Sunday whether he thought it would be appropriate for the House of Representatives should begin an inquiry into whether Pelosi had lied about national security matters.


Filed under: CIA • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. BJK

    When did lying to Congress become a crime? That must have been something that was added once Bush left office.....

    May 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Dexter Skagway

    The Republicans are worried about crimes? Okay, so how about this: Pelosi gets censured for lying as she probably deserves, and Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice and the rest stand trial in The Hague for war crimes. And Rove did commit the crime of revealing the identity of a CIA agent, and the whole attorney-firing thing, and illegal wiretapping, yeah, let's just go punish all the crimes!

    This is a nice little hypocritical shoot-themselves-in-the-foot Republican strategy. But Gingrich is a past master of hypocrisy: anyone remember "Gingrich admitted to providing inaccurate statements during the probe." Gingrich is a liar who loves to call everyone else liars. Takes one to know one, I guess.

    May 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Larry from RI

    Provide proof or apologize – how about YOU clowns provide proof that she lied?

    That is the core principle of our legal system is it not?

    Charge her with a crime or move on because these distractions from the real issue, which is the of the crime of committing torture, being offered by the GOP are not working any more!

    May 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. johndred

    Clearly, they are flailing at anything they can to try to drag down the Dems. To tell you the truth, it's actually kinda funny watching them lash out at everything..they have zero game plan left, except the one they have been using for years and it just doesn't work anymore. People I think have finally caught on. Someone should tell this poor moron NO ONE CARES. It's the economy, stupid, not Pelosi.

    May 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Chris

    The Republi-cants are at it again – accuse, blame, and crucify – all for the purpose of shining the spotlight anywhere but where it truly belongs. The supreme arrogance of Cheney, Bush, Rummy, Gingritch, Boehner et all is so breathtaking it is not to be believed! Yet, here they are – sneaky liars all – throwing stones in glass houses, passing judgment on others, and demanding resignations. They should all just shut the f#*% up and go away. YOU HAVE NO CREDIBILITY – WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND?

    May 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. spence

    I actually do not agree with Boehner. I think that Pelosi should resign, and she should take Obama, Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, Emmanuel and Frank with her. All these liberals are so hypocritical. They claim to be tolerant and open-minded. But really, liberals are the most judgimental folks there are, and do you think any open-minded person would lie to congress about waterboarding? Of course not. Oh, and when Obama resigns, after he is impeached for treason, he should take his teleprompter with him. The whole teleprompter is the most frustrating to me. It means the man is a sham. A hoax. Everything he says is staged and scripted. He is the popstar president, who says absolutely nothing on his own. What a waste.

    May 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. joe smith

    now the simple fact is; mr bush, and mr. cheney, a year ago, invited ms pelosi over to the White House for some crackers/tea. at that time, ms pelosi and mr reid were going to force the administration to come clean about irag, etc., but the administration politely advised ms pelosi that they had quite a telling tale to tell about her families ruthless tenure in Baltimore..that same telling folder of misuse is being waved by none other than jane harmon from California,..and that end run will be ms pelosis' demise..sometimes playing ball, is not much fun..

    May 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Chris

    Come on!.... you gotta be kidding me! now what ?Nancy Pelosi is to blame for the invasion on Iraq and the use of "enhanced Torture techniques" I remember when the "intelligence" misled the Nation with the existence of arms of mass destruction which was the greatest excuse of all to Bush get away with his Oil agenda without the consensus of the international community... how are you gonna vindicate with all of our fallen heroes who died for a lie? this guy is not a Beehner is a complete Dick-Lamebaugh, I'm sick and tired of these Growing Odd Party the party of NO Ideas, zip ,zero, nada

    May 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. k3ndall

    Give Pelosi a break, this is like trying to remember something 5 yrs ago, again from memory, compared to people who wrote and took notes, did the CIA make a note of what was written and all truth perhaps, but she didn't take notes so she can't be held on speculation, well she can but shouldn't

    May 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Jeff B

    As if we needed more proof that lying, cheating, dishonest politicians know no party boundaries. If the speaker of the house has lied to the American people about something as important as this, she needs to resign.

    May 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. k3ndall

    not to mention, Cheney orchastrated the torture, why isn't he being scrutinized?

    May 17, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Scott

    It's time to appoint an independent prosecutor, or, short of that, a commission, so that the American people can find out once and for all if our leaders broke the law. If Pelosi was complicit, then fine, she should be brought up on the appropriate charges along with Bush, Cheney, Woo, Rumsfeld and whoever else was involved.

    May 17, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Raymond Morris

    I feel Pelosi should step down. I enjoy your program . Republicans have Rush and the Democrats have Stephanie Miller, please do not have her on your program again.

    May 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. chemfro

    I guess its quite clear that democrats who have posted here miss the point of this article, and the story in general.

    1) "Boehner should prove Pelosi is lying." Well, he isn't saying she's lying. He's saying that she should prove that her accusation that the CIA was lying to her is true.

    2) "Boehner says Pelosi should be punished, but not republicans". Please show me where, in this article, Boehner says Pelosi should be punished. He says she should prove her accusations are true, or apologize for making them.

    The truth is, you are blinded by your own partisan agenda to recognize that if something is wrong (waterboarding), its hypocracy for some who were involved in the decision making to later call out others involved in the decision making when it is politically feasible. But I guess its more important to some of you to root for the "blue team" than to pursue anything resembling truth or justice. That statement applies to plenty on the other side of the aisle as well, so you can save your finger pointing, hand wringing, and yammering "but bush said..."

    May 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. sick of republican phonies

    SO.... The Bush regime did the actual torturing of people, and Nancy Pelosi is getting the one getting heat because she lied about when and what she knew about it? Classic Rovian tactics- distract the tunnel- vision media from the real issue by creating a non- issue the media can latch onto.

    May 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Ken

    Nancy Pelosi stated on one of the Sunday morning news shows several months ago that she did know natural gas is a fossil fuel. Nancy Pelosi does not engage even her fellow Democrats, she is not capable of building a consensus for any important piece of legislation, which ahs to date always followed party lines, and now, even the White House is silent when she needs support their the most. She has consistently contradicted herself over this issue and other issues of less importance. Now she has insulted the apolitical CIA, only to realize within 24 hours what she had done, then she tried to blame the Bush administration instead of the CIA, only to realize this is one of the few things Bush's White House can rightfully claim they had nothing to do with. Pelosi has boxed herself in. This may be the final days for the first female Speaker.

    May 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Bret

    Quite frankly, this is outrageous.

    Where were anything of these GOP cronies when Iraq's WMD's were naught to be found? Blatant lies by the top officials of the Bush Administration have led to a couple thousand American deaths, and a 10+ trillion dollar war.

    The day that Pelosi should be investigated, is the day that Bush and Cheney should be tried for war crimes (along with Kissinger).

    May 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Clinton Fringer

    So if we are going to prosecute all war crimes, does that mean Obama is to be prosecuted for all those innocent women and children that were killed during his raids on Pakistan the first week he was in office? Good for one ....good for all.

    May 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Mich

    Peliso is as guilty as the rest of them she knew what was going also don't let her get away with it.

    May 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Does any one remember Bill Clinton? He was one of the biggest liars of them all. Enough of the Bush bashing. Get off the band wagon.

    May 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Biased

    Seems democrats here once again never discuss very much of the facts re Pelosi but show the same mentality as always of
    1. well he is worse
    2. but he lied too
    3. Bush is bad, Cheney is worse still
    4. Nancy's not as bad as........
    Can you democrats ever discuss that your party is not perfect? You are no better than republicans standing up for their side. If she knew and did nothing, then why is she allowed to rail on now 6 years later as if she has just realized it was a bad thing to do? Where was her promise to end the war when if the country elected more Dems and they took control of the House? What has she done while holding the job and during all those two years of hearings other than allow hearings to be held on Bush with no actions or anything coming out of them ?
    It is time that the revenge for the past 8 years cools a little and saner heads prevail. It seems you want to hold everyone else accountable for their words for the past 8 years , but never anyone from your own party. Why is that? What did they do when they found out about the waterboarding – seems like they did nothing and allowed its continuance in their silence. Pelosi's excuse was she decided to stop the waterboarding by saying she needed to work on getting more democrats elected and a democratic President-- isn't that her job anyway?
    You know it really feels good belonging to neither party and you don't get sucked in defending the indefensible from either side.

    May 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. DEM in HI

    This is too funny. Let's censure Pelosi about whether she was told about waterboarding, yet let's block any discussion whether waterboarding is torture. Talk about hypocrites!!! Let's talk about a nation misled and lied to about going to war. A war that has cost over 4,200 lives. Bohner is such a whiner. Then the GOP wonders why they cannot connect with moderates. The GOP is the party of NO!!! No change, no accountability or responsibility, and and no intelligence.

    May 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Chas

    The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is next in line of sucession after the Vice-President. Of course, she was briefed about the interrogations. She uses any situation she can to attack the Republicans and the previous administration officials. When she became Speaker, she made it clear to the Democratic House members that they were to follow her lead and not vote for any of President Bush's initiatives. Almost all followed her lead because of the political power she holds.
    A side note: The restaurant and hotel that she and her husband own do not allow unions to form among it workers.

    May 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Larry

    Defend the Democrats-Defend the Democrats–Defend the Democrats–Why ?
    Because they break our laws, don't pay taxes, and lie.–Aren't you tired of it ?

    May 17, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Jeb

    He looks constipated in that picture. Doctor says give him a waterboarding 1×3.

    May 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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