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. Dave in Albuquerque

    If Newt Gingrich doesn't make outrageous statements, he doesn't get media coverage any more. It's that simple.

    May 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Samuel

    It's funny. One disgraced politician asking another to resign. Especially one that presided on beginning of policies that has brought this country to complete destruction. Newt and Phil Gramm should go move to Haiti or something where they can pillage the poor in the name of capitalism.

    May 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    April 2002: Cheney orders torture of detainees to prove link between sadaam and bin laden.

    August 2002: CIA "contractors" continue policy of torture for political reasons under orders from Bush/Cheney administration.

    September 2002: The CIA a) Tells Pelosi or b) Doesn't tell Pelosi

    May, 2009: right wing screams for Pelosi's head.

    Hello? Buehler? Does the far right really think we are that stupid?

    May 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. CTardy

    Newt Gingrich and the rest of the Republicans will do anything to keep the spotlight off of what they have done. Bottom line Bush and the Republicans party started all of this mess. Whether Pelosi knew about it or not, Bush, Cheneny, etc. they knew it was torture and probably did whatever it took to have the CIA justify that it was torture.

    May 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Gina, California

    She should have resigned since last year!

    May 20, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Ivan Schiff

    What really is behind these attacks on Pelosi is that instead of using an euphenism for lies she had the audacity to call the CIA liars.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Samuel

    A womanizer asking for a politician to resign. I wonder who is worst!

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Brenda

    Have you ever watched Newt in Gretta's show....All what they do is talk how President Obama is ruining America. They never talk in the studio though, they hide out somewhere in the field...

    That should tell you all about newt and his lack of selling books today...

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. wally.whippet

    gengrich is the biggest blow hole, all these whacked out republicans trying to cover their own super-sized butts. Gingrich, let's talk about morality and how treated your family, your ex wife your hippocrite.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Drew

    I agree, it's time for her to go. One more hate filled politician who does nothing but use her position to try and blame others for past mistakes.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Sniffit

    Hint to GOP: you're only pandering to the already-convinced-to-vote-for-you crowd...the distraction effort is doing you more damage with the rest of us.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Herk

    Newt Gingrich is one of the gang that brought us into the mess we are in, an imperialist of the first order. I am a firm believer in freedom of speech but he should be treated as a simpleminded citizen and not given news space. He should be tared and feathered rather than given any credit on CNN.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. john

    Why didn't he ever call on Bush or Cheney to resign? Republicans are a sad lot. Pelosi is doing a good job.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. TRA

    Newt, please go away and take Cheney with you.

    May 20, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. ~~ July ~~

    Oh really Gingrich?? ... do you want that with butter .. or extra butter?

    Newt is a nobody that has nothing to say other then lie lie lie and cheat!

    May 20, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Joker1956

    It's time for Ginrich to shut his face! Does he really think we care what he says, or believe him? Ha Ha! Just more crap from the Repugs to try to get someone to listen to them cry whether it's true or not. He's eyeing 2012 and lying to the people. SHAMEFULL and DISGUSTING!

    May 20, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. JJ-Orlando

    Repulican Nazi Power!!! look up the definition people it is a fact!

    May 20, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Felicia

    Well i didn't trust pelosi anyway i feel President Obama should have replaced her and reid. They're to wishy washy.

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Accountability

    As if the CIA doesn't have a record of lying to American Politicians;

    Bay of Pigs
    Bombing of Cambodia
    Revolutions in Latin America

    For a self proclaimed historian, Newt has a short memory

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. jeff

    I can't stand Pelosi, but she is still relavent, so at least can understand why she is in the news... Please explain why is Gingrich in the news?

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Tom Blanchard

    Newt G is a joke and should keep his mouth shut. Cheney ran rough shot over the CIA for years, forcing them to compromise their ethics – it should be no suprise that they be charged with misleading Congress. Newt should stop grand standing.

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. grannybush

    I think this is the most interesting part of the article: Hoyer told reporters Wednesday. "As long as you want to feed on it, the Republicans will continue to feed you." In other words, media, who's side are you on, anyway. You're supposed to be on the dem's side so stop reporting this.

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Royster

    WHO CARES with Newt says?

    This guy is hypocrisy personified!
    While he was pushing for Bill Clinton to be impeached he was having an AFFAIR and left his sick wife in bed. This is the voice of the GOP??

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Mike

    Oh, more divisive politics from the right then. Well, at least they are consistent.

    Hey Newt, how about you pick up what's left of your party and put yourself out with the rest of the garbage?

    May 20, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. munchmom

    Tell her to resign COMPLETELY–we don't need her in Congress AT ALL! You go, Newt!!

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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