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. RJ

    You seem to be speaking from a higher moral ground ? Did you not resign the Speaker's position in disgrace ? How dare you come back out and tell the American people anything, after your failure to live up to the phony right's higher ground !

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. pete

    The wicked witch of the west needs to go!

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Andrea

    Please, leave this woman alone and go after those who ordered the illegal torture, invaded a country on the basis of lies, and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Not to mention, who have dragged our country into an economic ditch that we won't climb out of for yours.
    Gingrich and Cheney and the rest – GO AWAY!

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Reeba

    Newt may have been forced to resign because of personal transgressions – – which affected only a few. Pelosi's lying is affecting the Country ! ! ! ! !

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Juan

    There are 2 ways to gain Popularity:

    1. By doing something Good.
    2. By talking against the Person at # 1 above.

    Gingrich gains Popularity by using the tactics at # 2 above. That is by talking against Pelosi. 😐

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. John Tiller in Dallas Texas

    Who cares about Newt.

    When you have an idiot, Bush, as your front man, what do you expect from the rest of his cronies? Lot of fools they are!

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Don

    Newt, Newt, Newt. Another tired angry old man. He did not resign when he lied, or cheated on his wife while trying to casterate Bil Clinton. You were a failure, your GOP is a failure, and OMG Steele is an utter failure. Go Away! You could not be elected Dog Catcher.

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. ArielB

    Hello Pot! Wow he is really delusional

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. TomJay

    Nancy Pelosi is the gift that keeps on giving.

    May 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Baze

    Does Newt Gingrich have anymore credibility?

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Mark

    It's time for Gingrich to shut up and go away. And take Dick with you, Newtie.

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Calipublican

    I've been complaining for years about media coverage of Republican "issues" while the Democrats defended the practice and called it serching for "the truth" – Nice to see the shoe on the other foot.

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. SoSaysSam

    Oh yes, time to reach for the "America is less safe" dodge...

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Greg

    Newt might be shooting himself in the foot if Nancy Pelosi resigns. A new House Speaker could be chosen that isn't as polarizing, and one that the Republicans can't use to put money in their coffers.

    New still hasn't learned: Think before you speak.

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Jeff

    I for one do not care if she knew about in 2002 or not. If so, and, if applicable she should have her day in "court" or "hearings" just like everyone else. I suspect though even if she did know about it she was in no position to do anything about it. What, inform the media? What, leak top secret matters to others? If she knew and dissented and/ or sought legal recourse the Bush administration would have squashed her like a bug. There's the real crime here...go away Gingrich.

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Barbara

    Desperate Newt! Judging from your background I don't think you have any moral platform to shout from. Let this issue work its way out-You are far from anyone to cast stones without knowing all the FACTS. Better forucs on that party of yours falling away.

    May 20, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. BenjaminC

    A Republic administration oks torture and a Democrat should resign? Give me a break. Investigate all and jail those who broke international or domesticate law and force those out of the government, whether Democrates or Republicans, who acted inappropriately, but don't single out a Democrate to pay for Republican crimes to score some political points.

    May 20, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Kevin Parnella

    Ask a democrat to resign? PUHHHLEASE. Libs have no morals. Good luck with all of that. I think she needs to be deported.

    May 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Steve

    Time for the democrats to get the media to back down....continuation of this story is not in their best interest.

    May 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Tulsa L

    Oh get a grip on it Republicans, it was your President that mis led the american people about mass weapons, this last admistration is the one that OK the torture so they should be the ones that have to answer..........I say bring Bush, Cheney and the rest to trial.........and then let us get on with the business at hand

    May 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Michelle, St. Louis, MO

    There are other people in congress who said the CIA was not truthful. Why aren't people focusing on other claims from other reps in congress? What about Graham? His claims are moot right now. Amazaing.

    May 20, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. S Callahan

    My question you find she was not truthful...what then?

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Carl

    Why does anyone care what this washed-up has been says? Just for once Democrats need to ignore the bleating from the extreme right and remind the public that lying, torture and anti-Constitutional legislation are things the Democrats have rescued our nation from. The last thing we need to do is listen to the ex-leader of a corrupt and arrogant past.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. 4 and The Door

    If Nancy Pelosi does not resign, she will bring down the Democrat House of Cards like a stiff wind with her in 2010.

    So stick around, Speaker Pelosi! I'm looking forward to the next elections. 2010 and 2012! We'll put a stop to this runaway porked out beloated debt-up-to-our-ears liberal social agenda pushing government very quickly. We have to...we owe it to the next generations of Americans.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Davis

    I hope Pelosi stay where she is and Newt keep complaining until 2013.
    newt = loser.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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