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. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    And with his comments defenfing her, Steny Hoyer joins her in the gutter.

    May 20, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Kitty

    I would say that Newt Gingrich needs to resign. But, other than running his untrustyworthy mouth, what does HE really do?

    May 20, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. wally

    Alright, I'm a conservative, but come on Newt!! "Hello pot; I'm kettle..."

    May 20, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. alvino

    Newtie is wrong. The people who have damaged America's safety are the ones who thought "Cowboy Diplomacy" was an affective way to deal with the world. Allowing countries to build a nuclear weapons program and your only response is to call them the "Axes of Evil" is pure grade school. Our position in the world has suffered the last eight years, and that has nothing to do with questioning the CIA.

    May 20, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    It's time for Gingrich to shut up.

    May 20, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. doberman

    I think myself that it is time for gingrich to disapear into the nothingness in which he sprang from. he needs to dig a hole behind a tree crawl in it and cover himself up with leaves and blow his own head off. that is the best he can do for this country.

    May 20, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. jds

    Who is listening to this washed-up hack? He holds no office, and hasn't in a decade. America should pay as much attention to Newt as it does to Rush. Both should be taken for entertainment value only. Give it up Newt. You're a nobody now.

    May 20, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. who asked you, gingrich the grinch?

    he's still delusional about himself.

    stupidity is a life time infliction, indeed.

    May 20, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Lowell

    It's time for Newt to shut his mouth and go hide under his rock again.

    May 20, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. stevensdot

    this is about Newt Gingrich – ask Former Secretary of State Coliln Powell about George Tenent and the CIA

    May 20, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Joel Parkes

    Gingrich? Are you serious? Who listens to this moron?

    May 20, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. George

    Newt just go away. Get back under that rock from whence you came.

    May 20, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Mo

    It's time for Newt Gingrich to resign...what exactly is his position?

    May 20, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. donttreadonme

    He would know it is time, he speaks from experience …ha-ha. You are wrong Newt she is thorn in Obama’s side and should stick around. Hyper-partisanship is awesome.

    Just curious why the dems like here so much? She is not very bright or polished, sort of a loose cannon like Biden.

    May 20, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Kevin in Ohio

    I think Pelosi is just lovely. I don't know where Newt get's off asking her to resign. Who asked him anyway. Last I checked he has no power or influence.

    Silly, divisive conservatives.

    May 20, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. James M. Holmes

    Watch what you wish for Republicans... you just might get it! Let the investigations begin!

    May 20, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Wasn't Newt part of the problem in the 90s, and look what carried over in the Republican "follow the leader (Bush)" era. Newt got run out of town on a rail, and now he's trying to do the same thing to the Dems.

    May 20, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. TRENT

    Gingrich is an idiot.

    May 20, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Humpty Dumpty

    I just know, some how, some way, Crazy Michael Savage, is behind this Republican Game Plan, to put Newt Gingrich, Neo-Catholic, fired former Speaker Of The House, renowned woman sniffer, worn out wordsmith from the distant past, make believe intellectual, possibly older and more out of touch than John McCain, out front to lead the attack on Nancy Pelosi. It has to be. No sane person would invent such a Game Plan.

    May 20, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Proud DHS radical

    NO! let her be the face of the democratic party along with Harry Reid, at least until 2010 when the majority change hands again.

    May 20, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. alvino

    I hope the press stays on this, and we eventually find out if Pelosi ordered the torture or if it was the Bush/Cheney Whitehouse. Oh wait, we already know about the Bush/Cheney violation of the law, the embarassing part , according to Newt, is if Pelosi knew before 2006 when the CIA came clean with the label of EIT.

    May 20, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Neutralizer

    Queen Pelosi will not resign, you have to call the men in black and put her in straitjacket and load her in commercial airplane back to calimexico. Why should she resign, if she gave up her position as speaker of the house no more private jet to haul her wide arse back to calimexico together with her dogs.

    May 20, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  23. Brandon

    Agreed. It is time for Pelosi to step down.

    May 20, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. St. Louis Jake

    Deflection, deflection, deflection – the Repubs condoned and performed torture (which is against U.S. and International law,) but they are chest-beating about something that is totally unrelated to the REAL issue. Torture is a crime – it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    May 20, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Lee in TN

    Who Is Newt Gingrich to ask someone to resign?? I cannot believe that any intelligent person would listen to a man who resigned from congress in shame and disgrace. Gingrich needs to fade into oblivion and let honest people speak about ethics and morality.

    May 20, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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