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. Joe Smoe

    The repubs have to always find a way to justify there idiot brains.
    Ole Newt really does need to be talking, what a laugh.
    He needs to go back where he came from his days are over just like the rest of some of those idiots.

    May 20, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Janice in Mississippi

    Newt Gingrich, member of the Republican Separatist Party.

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Natasha

    Why should she resign? IT is still not her fault for the decision on the matter. CIA should really point the finger at Cheney, Bush and Rove. Get over yourselves here, do you think the American people are stupid.

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Marie in California

    Yeah, Pelosi should resign. At best, she's an airhead who struts around like a privileged Barbie doll (move aside Paris Hilton)..

    And Pelosi is such a liar! If she were Pinocchio her nose would stretch all the way from DC to Oregon.

    Time for her to go.....and NOT take her government-paid-for jet with her!

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Megan from San Diego

    I am not a big Pelosi fan but this is an obvious attempt to distract from the real issue...TORTURE.

    And what about all the lies that BUSH, Cheney and Rumsfeld told us? Guess Newt doesn't care about the liers on his side.

    These people are so transparent.

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Scott B

    Hummm, ousted as speaker and yet he can point fingers, only a republican could be so bold. Got to love this new GOP talking and listening tour with all the old GOP right wingers. Please bring in new, and I again mean NEW blood, then maybe we may listen

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Eric

    Gingrich is a hypocrite clown and is emblematic of all of the things that people disdain in the Republican party. Its yet another Republican diversion. Who cares whether she knew or not. That is not the issue here. The real issue is the illegality of the interrogation methods.

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Mike- Kansas City MO

    For Newt Gingrich to call for Nancy's resignation when he resigned in disgrace is ridiculous.

    Let's wait until everything is out in the open before making a decision!

    I REALLY wish Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney would sit down, and shut the hell up! All that hot air is contributing to global warming!

    May 20, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Hillary hata!

    It's about time!

    Nancy you and your fear mongering crew have done more damage to Washington than even imaginable. By your acts of selfishness and dirty politicing you are hurting Obama's image and his attempts to look to the future, not the past!!!

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. JimG

    Uh, Newt – hate to tell you, but even if Pelosi quit you still wouldn't get the job back. We know that's all you're really after: Another undeserved 15 minutes out from under your rock.

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  11. Cystem Phailure

    I wonder why Newt decided to crawl out from under his rock a few months ago and start polluting the world with his thoughts again. Is it possible he forgot he's no longer in public office, having resigned his congressional seat in shame some 10 years ago?

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Ken

    Good god, do people actually listen to this guy? Each time I have to listen to the pile of crap that spews out of his mouth, I have to take a shower. I'm an independent but enough is enough. Either you have solutions to solve problems in this country or you keep your mouth shut. That's all it should be.

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. bsmith171

    it' either her of CIA guy.

    someone has to go.

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. John

    I love the way the Dems always cry "diverting attention " from the "real" substance of issues in order to protect their own.......try listening to the other side from time to time without making judgments beforehand based on the (R) which appears after the person's name

    May 20, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Sniffit

    It's not the torture, it's that someone with absolutely no power, authority or control over it was told in a briefing!!!!

    How much is the GOP paying you for the free slander advertising CNN?

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Saad

    It's time for Gang-rich to shut up.

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. James

    Resign? Why? For believeing someone lied to her? Newt, go away!

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Dave in Ohio

    Watching Pelosi talk about what she knew or didn't know is torture. She needs to go.

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. CitizenJane

    Newt has never been one to let substance get in the way of deflection.

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    Not on resign as Speaker of the House, but get the HEC out of Congress.

    People made fun of Palin, but that woman is 10 times more qualified that this "Barbie Doll" wannabe.

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. John, Rochester MN

    Republicans are the American Taliban May 20th, 2009 11:19 am ET
    I hope Newt Gingrich's heart FAILS!!!
    He has a heart?

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. David Morrow

    If the speaker of the house position was left to the people of California, Pelosi would be ot in a flash. She is a real San Francisco Kook. We do not want her in California or in the Federal Government. its finally time for San Francisco to sink into the Pacific and Pelosi with it.

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Todd in OKC

    How does Newt et al. explain that the briefing document, dated September 2002, uses the term "EIT" (enhanced interrogation techniques) when the term wasn't even invented until around June 2004?

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. Jeb

    Newt and Nancy ... do you trust him or her. Pathetic lyer she is. Newt – didn't we vote against "negative campaining" in November 08. Where were you?

    May 20, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    Newt Limbaugh, professional gasbag

    May 20, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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