May 20th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
12 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. FreeNLovIt

    This woman only saw the smoke. She did not light the match to burn the house down.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Lorna

    I think the whole bunch should watch "The Good Shepherd" for a refresher course. I know it 's a movie but there's some pretty accurate depictions of the CIA in it. The fools can't actually believe the congress has never been lied to by the CIA...can they? John Boehner, he who shoots his mouth off indiscriminately, called them liars himself a few short years ago. My oh my...short memories on some of these people....Greatly Over-the-top Prevaricators....GOP.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Matt

    I agree with Newt. She is hurting this country and derailing this Administration's attempts to move forward. Her time has come and gone.

    Republicans aren't the only ones who needs new faces and fresh, bipartisan ideas. Pelosi and Reid can't see past their own partisan noses, to the detriment of this Administration and this Country.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. jerr

    It is not necessary this incident that Pelosi should resign, she is just not an effective leader and the House of Representatives will be much better off without her hindering them.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. icharliem

    oh and did newt open his mouth when the office of the vice president exposed an active CIA operative ... it makes me mad that these people have no morals or ethics, and we still parade them in the news ...

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. John in Philadelphia

    I'm a staunch Democrat......and even I think it's time for Pelosi to step aside.....what a disappointment to our party in so many ways. Let's get 'Pork Barrell Pelosi" replaced with someone who's actually effective in changing Washington!

    May 20, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. John Longmire

    Newt is a complete idiot. He's fat and obnoxious and will never amount to anything in politics ever again. He is Rush Limbaugh's brother. I hope you see this Newt.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Denise

    Why can't Newt Gingrich just go away?

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Thursday Next

    This is like Richard Nixon Obama on withholding the torture pictures.
    Arguing an incomplete set of facts from a position of moral bankruptcy.
    If evidence Pelosi shows to be lying (and so far all evidence suggests the CIA is the entity dis-acquainted with the truth), there are plenty of people more qualified than Gingrich to mete out punishment.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Christopher

    We voted for change. Why are the republicans still in the picture. Newt and Cheney need to get off the podium.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Sue

    We would have been better off if Nancy's parents had just aborted her.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Claudia in Houson

    Newt Gingrich will go after Pelosi but won't go after Bush or Cheney, what a coward.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. gt

    Pelosi should resign, not only for this issue, but for pure incompetence. She is truly everything that is wrong with Congress. Typical blame game. The CIA does things that most Americans do not want to know about, that's what makes them effective. Also, she should maybe spend a little time in CA trying to help figure out how they are going to close a $21 Billion gap next year.

    May 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. MikeMaz

    Who the heck is Newt Gingrich to call for the resignation of Pelosi. I love it when these old republicans open their mouths because as Much as Pelosi irritates some, whenever an old grey haired republican who is not even relevant opens his mouth, it turns people off even more. Keep talking Newt.. thats why the base of the republican party is so pathetic,

    May 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. Pat

    Hang in there Nancy. I believe you were mislead by the CIA. Gingrich is reaching for any twig to hold on to. How pathetic.

    May 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Patriot1013

    The CIA's post-9-11 reputation is intact according to Newt?!!!!! But Nancy Pelosi's isn't? This is the same CIA that told us there were WMD's in Iraq?

    May 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Peloci should resign right after, the Bush cabinet goes to jail.

    May 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Evelyn

    What a distraction from reality. We are going on 9 years at a war started by lies and falsified info... Is it really that hard to believe that the CIA lied? Besides, Gingrich is a bitter little man with mother issues.

    May 20, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. rob-nyc

    it looked like Nancy Pelosi was tripping on ACID during that press conference & to think she is 3rd in charge of the most powerful country in the world, all liberals & democrats make fun of sarah palin, why is no one making fun of this freak show, come on people,wake up & smell the coffee america!!

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. banderson

    Newt Gringrich won't be president in 2012.

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Daren

    Peloci should resign right after, the Bush cabinet goes to jail.

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Gloria - Boca Raton

    Newt should talk and you women haters go with him.

    We all should be careful what we say about one another unless we are all perfect.....are you? I am not.........

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Stephan

    As the current Speak of the House – she should acknowledge Newt's experience at resigning as SOTH – from when he stepped down under ethical clouds and a soon-to-be-revealed affair he was having with a paid staffer in his office. Ooops!

    If she was from the East Coast she could just give him a two word reply – frequently heard on the Sopranos.

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. Dave in Houston

    Why are all of these has-been, former politicians getting so much air time?

    When the Democrats were on the outs, you'd never see Michael Dukakis, Bill Bradley, Al Gore or even Bill Clinton going on the talk show circuit telling Tom DeLay to resign. You'd never see them at all.

    Also, you would rarely see current Democrats on the air!

    Newt and Dick Cheney must be systematically ignored.

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Alex

    Newt, we still remember your ridiculous Contract for America. Running for president? You will lose and the next elephant to try will too. Don't you get it that Bush destroyed all Republican credibility?

    May 20, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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