May 20th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
11 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. Tim

    Newt-- Didn't you resign in disgrace. Should the American people review the lies and controversy that you were involved in. How dare you pass judgment on someone else. Newt, you are a big reason why the GOP is where it is today. So please stop embarrassing the GOP, and go back into obscurity.

    May 20, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Bob in Pa

    Denny has it right, as long as the Press reports it it is an issue, and thats what he is basically asking them not to do.

    My question is; Why can't we know the truth Mr. Hoyer ? If Ms Nancy didn't lie, then she has nothing to fear and her credibility should skyrocket. Otherwise, ask her to close the door on her way out.

    May 20, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. David

    Pot takes aim at kettle.

    May 20, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. rene ohio

    that has been needs to resign from speaking,,,is it sour grapes because his incompetent @@2 had to resign back in the day

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. thedurkinknight

    ST Louis can you say this is "unrelated"?! The third most powerful person in the country is accusing the Central Intelligence Agency of LYING to her...which means that either she is not being truthful, or they are not. The only difference is, they have WITNESSES on their side!! This is a VERY SERIOUS MATTER!!

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Sniffit

    Torture good, knowing about it bad?

    GOP logic lesson #1:

    Step 1: Procure ball pean hammer.

    Step 2: Strike self in the temples repeatedly until blackness envolopes you.

    Step 3: Wake up to a brand new world full of bliss.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Dan

    CNN ?? CNN Please ask Gingrich.........

    What does Gingrich say about:

    1. Putting Bush and Cheney in Jail.

    2. Bush misleading the Americans on WMDs of Iraq.

    3. Intelligence reports were manufactured to mislead America into Iraq war.

    4. 4200 US Troop have died and 46000 US Troops have been injured.

    5. Wall Street's unscrupulous crooks made billions due to unregulated mortgage loans.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. David

    Newt just represents the desperation of the Republican party. They have nothing positive to offer the American public or the political process, so they have become the 'tabloid' of the political parties. Trying desperately to make an issue out of nothing. Using lies and deceptions in an attempt to gain attention, and no one really cares.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Dizzy in PA

    On one hand, Gingrich is a guy who knows first hand about resigning in disgrace. On the other, who cares what a washed-up partisan hack says about the opposition?
    I'm no Pelosi fan and wouldn't shed a tear if the Dems decide to replace her, but is Newt really the guy the GOP wants to have out there on this particular subject? Pot, meet kettle.....

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. johnathan

    oops, hell knows no fury like a party scorned, especialy the old coots.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. al

    I don't care about Pelosi and can think of a lot better reasons for her to leave office than this one. Gingrich is one of the worst politicians this country has ever seen. Talk about a liar. This is the man who single handedly broke the republican contract with America and he wants her to leave for lying???

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. icharliem

    seems that this gives gingrich something to get his face in the news ... with all the problems we face ... he's focusing on one of our country's critical needs ... go newt go

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. David

    Love it when all the right wingers scold "you people". And tell US we're going to get what WE deserve. As though we aren't all in this together.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. jill

    You know she is kind of a flake, but Newt should be the last person to request anyone to resign. He is what is wrong with the republicans, and the sooner everyone understands that they are OLD SCHOOL, the better off this country will be. Please lets quit listening to all the old ideas and make them come up with new ones. It's obvious the old ones got us into trouble.

    May 20, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Curtis

    Newt, did you resign from office when you cheating on your wife? Crawl back under your rock.

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Clark

    Nancy Pelosi is no favorite of mine, but I certainly believe there is a distinct possibility that the CIA actually did lie or deceive Congress...let's face it, it wouldn't be the first time they were caught in a lie (WMDs in Iraq – a "slam dunk", Iraq buying uranium from Niger, Iran-Contra, Iraq nuclear program...just recent examples). It does make one wonder about the credibility of the American intelligence community.

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Tom

    Who really cares what Newt thinks anyway? The GOP are TOTAL LOSERS. They have no direction, so they act like spiteful vindictive little brats!

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. JOE

    His mouth is running at full speed.....But his brain is in neutral as usual..All of this from a lugnut who served his wife divorce papers in a hospital bed with while she was fighting cancer....WHAT A GUY....

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. Joe

    In the last several days a number of members of congress, including republicans, have indicated that their notes on briefings and those of the CIA are in conflict. The CIA did not keep good or accurate records of briefings. So, Pelosi is likely correct in her charges against the CIA.
    Back under your rock, Newt. (Boy, his mom named him right)

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Ben Raskin

    Newt Gingrich is a person no correct thinking soul could give a shred of credibility to. He is the disgrace and despite Pelosi's clumsy handling of this matter, it has been revealed time and time again that the CIA DOES lie, DOES mis-represent and gives short shrift to facts when tall tales and hidden information better suits their political agenda.

    Let the Republican party continue down the path of irrelevance...

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Pam

    The resignation of Nancy Pelosi would make no difference in the state of affairs of this country. If it would shut up Gingrich and all the other whiners, I say" Resign Nancy"!

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Independent

    Pelosi is the typical Dem, runs her mouth with no idea what she is saying. I can't wait until 2010.

    May 20, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Rich

    What is it with CNN and Newt Gingrich? He's news nowhere else, but every day you have his latest "look at me" tweet or cry. Given his history in politics, life and that position, it's really nonsensical that he's given any kind of a soapbox or his word given any credibility. Et tu, Newt?

    May 20, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Steve-O

    Is the GOP even relevant anymore?

    May 20, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. KWVA12

    I agree that Ms Pelosi should step down the way she has handled this whole affair is a disaster. The only thing you can hand to Mr Gingrich is that being a screwup himself he knows one when he sees one

    May 20, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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