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. jack Phoeniix, az

    This is what happens with these OLD coots. They never retire and are not in tune with the current generations. GET HER OUT before she compromises the security of this country.

    May 20, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. Michael Beausoleil

    I highly doubt the CIA would use the word waterboarding in describing what techniques they used to interrogate enemy combatants. Newt should know that when you brief someone there is always a paper trail and sometimes audio and video that Nancy would have been given during her briefing. Since there is no hard evidence, so far, it is hard to believe what Newt is saying. If anything, it seems like Newt is jealous and lonely. It is not like the CIA are one of the most trusted agencies in the world. Far from it.

    May 20, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Lynn

    Who is Gingrich to tell anyine to resign? Where was he when bush, Cheney et al blatantly lied and fudged to get consent to invade another country?

    May 20, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Brandon

    So Newt is saying that laying (which hasn't been proven) about what someone said about an illegal act is WORSE than actually commiting or abetting an illegal act. In what reality is he living in. Prosecute the criminals not the witnesses.

    May 20, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. phoenix86

    Botox keeps allowing Pelosi to lie with a straight face. Time to remove her from the House.

    May 20, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |

    Hey Newt Maybe you Should resign your Pie Hole stay out of the Media and Shut it !

    May 20, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. B.H.

    When is it that these OLD GOP has beens give it up? The GOP had better find some younger thinkers or the GOP is history. Gingrich represents the PAST.

    May 20, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Brett

    Oh yes, I agreed with him!

    May 20, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Florida Joe

    Time for Darth to take Newt hunting...........Newt, you were thrown out and left in disgrace....We should care about anything you say WHY???

    May 20, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Proud Member..Party of No

    Pelosi is the modern democrat party. She is what today's democrats vote for and want to see leading the country. We are in serious, serious trouble. This country will not exist in 50 years if we follow the course we are on now.

    May 20, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Brett

    steve, give a county a break? Dont you relaized that nancy has been blamed almost everyone in past....should it give a country break? No. you need re-learn history lesson!

    May 20, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Brad K.

    Does GOP mean Grumpy Old Politicians?

    May 20, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Debbie

    Where was Gingrich when Bush and Cheney were lying there way into a War in Iraq? Where was Gingrich was Cheney was breaking the law and torturing? He has no credibility when he pretends to care about lying or the law! What a hypocrite! Sorry Gingrich, but this isn't distracting Americans away from the real issue, illegal torture! Your outrage is just as phony as your "original"ideas.

    May 20, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. obambi

    Democrats–Pelosi and company started this war of lies–let them wallow in it for a while. Funny how all Dems hated Pelosi and Hilary during the TOTUS Dem primaries–now they embrace them both. Rude awakening to me how hypocritical Dems are. You people had better hope they take back their accusations about Bush and Cheney–the Dems are part of all of it., including your esteemed leader.

    May 20, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Anonymous

    now is the time to get rid of this woman. Her words cannot be trusted. You know or you don't know. You can't have it both ways. Well I know you can, that is called politics.

    May 20, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. Republicans are the American Taliban

    I hope Newt Gingrich's heart FAILS!!!

    May 20, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Sorry Pilan

    Why is Newtie all of the sudden relevant again? Oh yes; because all of the rest of the Republican party is irrelevant at this point. Newtie lost all of America's confidence and trust many years ago. But you know those Republicans; they can not let go of the past and move forward; so they are bringing Newtie out of the closet again to save try to save them. You Betcha!

    May 20, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    NEWT needs to go away and play with his dolls
    and find someone else to piont his finger at

    it looks as if most americans don't care who he goes after same as Rush

    all mouth and nothing credible comes out but negative
    this will not help the republican good ol boys . it will how ever help them fall

    May 20, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. JJ-Orlando

    Let me get this straight. "Grinch says time for Pelosi to resign?" Nazi v.s Socialist pick up on this CNN. Run with it.

    May 20, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Robert

    I hate Pelosi and she as well as ALL of Congress (Yea that includes the Republicans) are useless. BUT if she should resign then Bush should have killed himself as should ALL Republicans who willingly supported him. WHY is it that these Republicans who screwed up this country cannot just SHUT UP.

    Not a Democrat

    May 20, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. saiful


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

    Pelosi is a great leader. Gingrich is an idiot. His mouth needs to shut permanently.

    May 20, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Expat American

    And why didn't Bush, Cheney and their entire Republican Torture/Genocide Administration resign?

    It's beautiful how the Republican scum pursued President Clinton for 8 years and had to settle on marital infidelity to justify all of their efforts...then turn around and cause the deaths of three quarters of a million people.

    May 20, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Pheonix86

    On second glance, I relaize my first comment was a bit harsh and clearly immature. It's just politics, after all. I don't know why I get so upset by all of this.

    May 20, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Jill-IN

    What I am concerned about and feel betrayed about is the lies and cover-ups of Bush, Cheney crew. That is what matters to me most. People who knew and would not step up and say anything while Bush proclaimed that we do not torture. What about their betrayal and setup of a CIA Agent – Plame? So is Newt a Limbaugh twin, another mouthpiece since we are getting sick of Limbaugh's gas bagging?

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