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. bill

    Hey DEMS: address the issue at hand. Pelosi can't be your hero. She's the same embarrassment most politicians are. They all lie. The media is just as bad. It's just us common folk that need to figure out what is the truth. Dems, GOP, Ind. all BS. Term limits will help straighten this mess out. Pelosi, like all the career politicians think they are above the truth.

    We need to start firing all career politicians from both parties.

    May 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Mike

    As usual, the liberals/Democrats miss the entire point.

    Pelosi accuses someone of lying and then it's up to them to prove her wrong. Yeah, that makes sense. Let's just accuse anyone of anything and let them sort it out for themselves and not expect the accuser to make some sort of case to back up the accusation.

    And then let's dig up Bush and his people again. They're gone, people. Get over it. Whether Bush did this or that doesn't change whether Pelosi is a liar or not. Stop trying to justify a wrong by citing other wrongs. It's not some twisted game where one person's wrongs give license to the other side to do their own.

    May 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Keith

    Obama opened up a can of worms when he declassified and released the CIA documents. His liberal masters at the ACLU demanded it. They had no idea that the can of worms Obama opened would be poured all over one of their own, Nancy Pelosi.

    The funny thing is, the ACLU didnt learn from that mistake. They want more released. But Obama did learn. It may be a while before he listens to those liberals at the ACLU again. They have made a fool of him enough already.

    May 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Al

    Why could Nancy Pelosi just have told the truth from the very begining It would have saved alot of crap. Back than she had no reponsibility for what happened like water boarding. I guest honestly is just not her thing. She is a disgrace to the congress. I wish the jerks that defend her would wake up and smell the crap she puts out.

    May 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. CB


    *All the major WORLD leaders ALL thought there were WMD.
    I'm no Bush fan...I didn't vote for him the 2nd time but he wasn't
    the only one thinking that.
    ( I wish we'd stayed out, for sure)

    *Pelosi is the same problem that happens on the right....EXTREME right wingers ruining any good ideas.

    The 08 Election wasn't to support Democratic principles.
    It was a referendum for change.

    MODERATES are why Obama won.
    Most people are right in the middle and not an extremist like Pelosi, Rush, Cheney, Sharpton.

    May 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Clinton Fringer

    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?

    No, she is getting the heat becasue she knew about it and approved it and did nothing to stop it. Then on her high horse decided that everyone that knew or allowed it should be prosecuted.. So, they are all in it together. it's that easy. Has everyone on here forgotten that our constitution is written in such a way that no one person has all the power? The president can not act without the congress. Bush may have been Republican but the majority of Congress was led by Democrats for the entire 8 years. The same in reverse for Bill Clinton. The Obama administration is the first in years that holds the majority in one party and they are all so busy finger pointing that they can't lead us out of anything and move forward. Personally I would rather them look at the problems of the present and the future and show how they can do better than waste time, energy and money on the past and things that can't be changed.

    May 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Willy G

    Gee, if Pelosi goes, what will Boehner whine about next?

    May 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. SR

    What kind of a alternate reality is this?

    So Nancy Pelosi is supposed to have lied?

    What did she supposed lie about? The Repiglican illegal program to torture people?

    What about the Repiglican lies? About starting a war and killing thousands upon thousands of people. About committing all kinds of constitutional violations. About torturing prisoners to get them to fake up a link between Iraq and Al Quida.

    I'll agree with this: There SHOULD be investigations and prosecutions. If Nancy Pelosi gets caught up in the net, then fine. Everyone who committed crimes during the Bush administraiton - not just those who might have heard about them - should spend a lot of time in prison. Got that Boy-no?

    May 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. kavita

    Pelosi is lying and she should be ashamed of herself! She is trying to keep her Speaker of the House position. I never liked her for her too liberal agendas even though I am a Democrat myself. The Obama adminstration should not have made a media circus with all this torture information of the Bush adminstration. Certain things do not need to be publicized to the whole world. Fix it behind the scenes. Anyways, if they are a terrorist, I could care less what we do to them to get information out of them.

    May 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Mario

    Piglosi is lying through her teeth,she is an incompaent person. She wants to bring this country to it's knees, she is a communist and wants nothing but much as she can get. She is lying to this nation and has no proof of her allegations, no proof what so ever! I am glad the CIA does what it does, they keep this country safe. Piglosi does the opposite. She should be investigated like Gingrich suggests happen. Either she puts up or shuts up! She is the typical liberal sqealing like a greased pig with nothing to say, typical lying liberal politician. I hope this is the begining of her long overdue end! Get rid of this old fossil wench! She is the typical lib thatt hated Bush and wants to bring up the past...never responsible for her actionjs and blames everyone else for her stupidity!

    May 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Tony in Maine

    Boehner is hallucinating again. He thinks he can give orders and everyone will jump.

    As they say in Brooklyn, "Whadda maroon."

    May 17, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. IP

    Most of you are trying to introduce non-related elements into this debate - "But he said/she said...!" Nearly all of you would fail rhetoric and logic 101.

    All Nancy is being asked to due in this instance is to provide PROOF of her claim.

    Forget who said what or who did what elsewhere - this is about Nancy opening her mouth before she had something to back it up.

    Boehner is right - put up, or shut up.

    I'm an Obama Democrat, and Boehner is right on this one. This is exactly why Obama didn't want this can of worms opened.

    May 17, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. American Idol hater

    Is Boehner drinking again or what?

    May 17, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Luis in South Texas

    I agree with all of the people who (correctly) are calling this for what it is: a Red Herring logical fallacy, meant to distract people from the real issue, namely that the "torture" OOPS, I mean "enhanced interrogation techniques" were ordered by Bush & Cheney (especially the latter)... we need to investigate all of these miscreants so that we can finally get to the bottom of this and have real justice. If Speaker Pelosi is indeed lying, then let her suffer the consequences of her actions, but you need to remember that she was NOT the one who led our country into war with Iraq.

    May 17, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. andrew PESHA

    To those on the Left, people of America understand you are falsely accusing the Bush administration of torture because it is your sole mission to tear down America to fit your own ideals. Waterboarding is not torture. Nancy Pelosi knew it was not torture when she was told about it in 2002. The Left and Democrats said it was torture because it was another way to weaken Bush and gain politically. Bush never lied to the country in order to defend this nation against the terror of Saddam and Obama. If the Left and the Democrats are intellectually honest they would see Bush as the leader who extracted the torturer Saddam. Nancy Pelosi is a liar and someone who sacrifices her nations safety for her own political gain.

    May 17, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. John

    If John Bohner had to provide proof every time he made a statement, he would have been out of office a long time ago.

    John Bohner is the poster child of untrue rash statements and he knows it so, why would any American listen to him?

    May 17, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. A_COL

    Nancy Pelosi just proves the old adage – "when you take a Balti-moron out of Baltimore, what you got left is a plain old MORON!" I wouldn't believe Pelosi under oath.

    May 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Jenny Creiger

    Cmon people, we know they all lie. At least the democrats' lies seem to be in an effort to help people, as opposed to the republicans blatantly lying using religion and patriotism to line their pockets.

    May 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. hongli

    That's the reason why John Boehner is the Minority Leader. he will never be the MAJORITY leader.

    May 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. alan

    you people are idiots . libs get to believe what they want let me get this straight if a republician goes get permission from congress and there full support for a war. the dems fully support it until not that we are losing but they see a way to get elected then turn on the country just to get elected. u people make me sick and feel sorry for the people in the miltiary who are defending you. i have a new policy we should get stared that the dems will support its a dem post abortion meaning we can abort u up till you 21 birthday

    May 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Pelosi Needs to Resign

    First of all, I am a Democrat, and i voted for President Obama.
    Nancy Pelosi needs to resign. She is an obstacle to change; an obstacle to bi partisan cooperation; and one of the worst pork barrel spending violators in office. When the person 3rd in line to the Presidency comes out and calls our intelligence community liars, it is time to go. Her behavior over the past two weeks is atrocious. She is a liability to President Obama and will be an obstacle to him achieving his legislative goals.

    May 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Gringo

    Quick review: she is listed on the memo having attended a briefing where one of the topics listed for review was water boarding. If she didnt pay attention and catch that part of the briefing then she is incompetent and should be removed. If she did pay attention then she knew about, couldnt find a way to use the info so sat on it and therefore just as guilty and should be removed.

    End result no matter which scenerio: Pelosi should be removed, she has been nothing more than an obstructionist, left wing radical isolating fellow Democrats and has presented obstacles to Obama and his efforts bridge partsian bridges. And after her Reid should go.

    Dem's, your in for a short tenure if you dont get some better leadership, review all of your own advice to the Republicans, it applies to you to. Both parties lack leaders in tune to the common citizen.

    signed, and Independent and ex-Demorcrat

    May 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. David Zaayer

    I can't believe what these republicans are trying to do. They are saying " She knew what we were doing and she could have stopped us. It is all her fault". Unbelievable!

    May 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Robert Frederick

    I think we have to look at the bigger picture here- Where is the administration on this? Quiet, with no words of support for Pelosi. I seriously doubt Leon Pinetta came out with such a strong statement supporting the CIA without the tacid approval of the President. So what we have here is the winds of change. The Administration is obviously doing little to support Pelosi, in fact they are doing quite the opposite, not only allowing the winds to blow, but stealthily adding to it. In otherwords, Obama promised changed and here is the opportunity within his own party to effect it.

    I used to think Harry Ried was the problem but I've come to see in time that he's not all that bad. Pelosi on the other hand is the devining rod of partisianship. President Obama is nothing if not smart, he sees the opportunity to put a new face on congressional leadership, perhaps one with less ego and more deference to the President. The only question is how to prevent the Republicans from gaining too much advantage from this. They are a shrill scattered bunch right now, using them to help push Pelosi out without gaining too much acolades for themselves in the process is a tapdance. Hense Penetta's statement, support the CIA which is good for the troops, weaken Pelosi, and the President stays mum. That is equally the big story here.

    I expect more silence from the Administration and surprising quiet from fellow democrats. Pelosi will be left twisting in the wind until the winds of change are obvious to even her.

    May 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Mike

    So what we are saying is that since Bush/Cheney lied, it's OK for Pelosi to lie. I think our collective moral compass has been checked at the door.

    May 17, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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