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. BeefMasterX

    She is an embarrassment to every honest, patriotic democrat.

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Carl

    Gingrich is CORRECT.Pelosi needs to GO,PEROID.IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE , just GO!!

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Dave

    This hypocritical idiot calls on Pelosi to resign; yet Bush and Cheney – the people who really responsible for what happened – are above his criticism. Fine. If Pelosi goes, Bush and Cheney should stand trial for war crimes and let the chips fall where they may.

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. erin- mn

    So any time someone questions the moves our government makes, they should resign? I thought that was what democracy was all about. Why is it that our government expects us, the american people, to just blindly follow and accept everything they do or say? And seriously, who is newt Gingrich to question anyone else on anything?

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. get lost

    The lizard is sounding more stupid every day.

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Mark

    Funny that a republican is calling for a Democrat to resign becuase she was suppose to have lied. So why didn't htis guy call for Cheney & Bush's resignation? Ah, that's becuase he belongs to the party of "Do as we say, not as we do".

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Ron

    Newt???? Hahahahahahahaha....isnt' that like the pot calling the kettle black, Newt????? Go away. The republican party deserves better than you.

    May 20, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Laurie in Spokane

    Is Newt opening his mouth AGAIN? Pelosi doesn't need to go. Newt does and the sooner the better. He's not trying to be of help in solving our problems, he just wants to be in the spotlight. Geez I'm tired of him.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. lk in texas

    gingrich's comments are ridiculous & make NO sense. pelosi is a liar and a fool to think none of us see through her smoke screen. to say that she didn't know about torture in 2002 is a falsehood. to not have done ANYTHING ABOUT IT, since the story broke in the public press is a travesty and CRIME....

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz,VA

    @ Accountability

    My point exactly!

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. mary

    This is interesting. Bush, Cheney and their cronies go scot free but Pelosi should resign because....

    Bush/Cheney lied and more than 4000 American lives have been lost. We aren't even talking about the thousands with physical and emotional wounds; but all of a sudden Pelosi is such a dangerous person that if she doesn't resign the CIA can't do its work! Mr. Gingrich, find a better line.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Mike

    Newt Gingrich obviously wants to run for President and he is using this ridiculously overblown story to try and have relevance again. I really hope people are smart enough to see through this.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Biff Hedrickson

    Pelosi has damaged the confidence of the American people as far as the CIA is concerned. She has maligned without proof a vital arm of intelligence in this country. She should resign, or the spinless democrats should strip her of her power. Any member of Congress who would malign the CIA without proof should step down now.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Agnes

    So let me get this right. You are going after someone who didn't know about torture, and not going after the Republican administration that authorized it and inflicted it. Call me dumb, that doesn't make sense at all.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Brad - Ohio

    Newt writes a nice editorial, but he could sum up his character with one syllable: The Scarlet Letter "A" for Adulterer. Go snuggle up with your latest, pal, and let the honest folks in Washington do their jobs.

    May 20, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    Uh, two guys threw oil on a car and lighted a match. Pelosi saw the smoke and now she has to resign and she's guilty? I think we need to drag out these two guys and jail them. Pelosi, you are not the problem. This problem is beyond YOU.

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. naqib

    She said the CIA lies to congress all the time.

    And you people think that's ok?

    She knew what was going on and did nothing... if you think the gov was wrong for what happend at gitmo then they are all wrong.

    The guard turning a blind eye for the nazi's was not innocent!

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Alex

    How is Newt still relevant? He was revealed to be an adultering hypocrite, and yet now people care what he says is truth?

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Reeba

    What would Obama do if Pelosi resigned? ? – – he parrots her and Reid's words. He'd accept her resignation – – IF she told him to !! Her "not hearing" about enhanced interrogations at the briefings is just like Obama not "hearing" Wright. Birds of a feather ! ! !

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. johnr

    I am no fan of the CIA but I do not believe they have lied to Congress. Pelosi continues to be a liar, and a danger to this country. She is quick to accuse others of lying but when caught red handed she scurries like a cockroach when the lights go on. What a coward and a disgrace.
    Newt is right – she does not belong in a position of leadership – this is only one more in a long list of underachievements.
    What a disgrace.

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Jake

    Did I miss something here?

    Did Nancy Pelosi interrogate and tortures prisoners?

    Oh, she didn't? Oh, more partisan nonsense to deflect from the real issue, which has always been.... torture.

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Cary

    For Gingrich to say that Pelosi has betrayed the trust of the CIA is ludicrous. The CIA is answerable to Congress, which has been one of the problems under previous administrations. Congress gave up their oversight responsibilities and many things got out of hand. Perhaps America should not trust Gingrich because of his past actions. the ones that lost him his job in Congress.

    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Sniffit

    "i feel President Obama should have replaced her and reid."

    And how might he do that?


    May 20, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Soothing Ringtones

    I think the Republican party are making themselves look bad by dwelling on this issue regarding Pelosi, like it's the only powerful card they can play. We just need to do the right thing, learn from our lessons, and move on with good actions.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. Chris

    Newt needs to get a life! We are lied to daily! They lied to us about the Weapons of Mass Destruction, so what would make me think they didn't lie about using unethical tactics to handle suspected terrorist. Newt shut up and sit down. America's Safety has nothing to do with this at all. Like many others I have family members over there fighting for a lie! Send our troops home and lets get on with our lives.

    May 20, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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