May 22nd, 2009
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi refuses to answer questions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/21/art.pelosi.gi.jpg caption="Nancy Pelosi is no longer discussing her charge that the CIA misled Congress."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to answer questions Friday about her stinging accusation last week that the CIA misled her about the use of waterboarding and Republican demands that she provide evidence.

"I have made the statement that I'm going to make on this. I don't have anything more to say about it," she pointedly told reporters. "I stand by my comment and - and what we are doing is staying on our course, and not be distracted from it."

The speaker changed the format of her weekly press conference Friday. Instead of appearing solo, Pelosi brought in three of her Democratic leadership colleagues. After the leaders gave 25 minutes of statements about their legislative accomplishments, Pelosi took just 5 minutes of questions from reporters, and only answered one about the back-and-forth over enhanced interrogation methods.

Despite repeated efforts by reporters to follow up on the issue, Pelosi dismissed them, saying, "I won't have anything more to say about it."

Pelosi may be ready to turn the page, but Republicans clearly aren't. Just minutes after the press conference, Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee sent out a statement blasting her performance. "Speaker Pelosi stammered and filibustered around the elephant in the room because she knows full well that she has become a political liability to her fellow Democrats in Congress," he said.

"Her obsession with the previous administration and her disdain for America's intelligence officials has reduced her to cheerleader status within the far left wing of her party and a distraction to the substantive debate over how to best move our economy forward."

Updated at 1:00 p.m. with additional on-the-scene details.


Filed under: CIA • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. JT

    The issue is TORTURE under the Bush/Cheney administration.

    May 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Hal

    Remove her as speaker!! We need someone of character and courage to lead the Democratic Party. She and Reid have shown themselves to be overly political and to lack integrity.

    May 22, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Laura

    All that Botox must have infiltrated her tiny brain.

    May 22, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Lynn

    She did not "duck" the question. She stated clearly that she stood by what she said and would not be saying anything further. Seems a very clear answer to me.

    May 22, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. barbara

    Sorry Nanacy but you are no longer credible, if ever you were.

    May 22, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. fools, fooled by obama

    Nancy PeLIEsi, as an elected official, YOU will answer to the questions of your lying to the American public or we will get your sweet cheeks out of political life.

    May 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Moderate Democrat

    eh, this is one democrat I can not defend, who cares about this CIA stuff.... I don't like her for too many other reasons. But I will say this much:

    Pelose at her worst, is 10 times better then the best republican. But at her best, she's is with out a doubt and by far the worst democrat to ever have existed.

    Now you do the math!

    May 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Buckwheat19

    Why would she be dodging questions?????

    May 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Dave in Illinois

    "If I close my eyes, click my heels and say Marin County three times maybe the question will go away.", Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard of Oz.

    May 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Proud Member..Party of No

    There it is...the face of the democrat party. Not a pretty sight.

    May 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. SLM

    Not only is she a Liar, she's a stubborn Liar. Nobody can actually expect this woman to admit she lied. Face lift is falling, must affect her brain activity.

    May 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Mike

    She has no idea what bipartisian means.

    May 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Paul, CA

    Please Ms. Pelosi, please resign and quit embarassing us Democrats. You are a disgrace to everything this party stands for. While making yourself look like a lying, backpeddeling fool, you are in the process, tarnishing the party image and all of us Democrats who still and always will consider ourselves loyal and patriotic Americans. Please stop speaking for us.

    May 22, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. ron

    I have to admit surprise that this website posted this story! I would have expected a distraction story on Palin or Meghan McCain. I doubt that a new leaf of unbiased reporting is being turned here though. Rather, I guess it's an under the bus she goes thing.

    May 22, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. matt

    torture I guess nobody would know what that is except for daniel pearl and Gilhad Shalit

    May 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Amy

    If she is guilty, then Bush and Cheney are guilty. I say throw Pelosi out of Congress and throw Bush in Cheney in jail!

    May 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. Agnes

    Nancy and Harry are two of the most incompetent, ineffectual leaders Congress has ever had. And I am a Progressive saying this.

    May 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. J.P.

    She might say more about it, if she knew what the definition of "is" is...

    At first, I'm inclined to say "Game over, honey. You gotta go."

    Then again, as a conservative, I say let her stay. Should do WONDERS for conservative fund raising this go around.

    May 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. ss

    Nancy has done a good job. She has stood up regardless if it was good for her or not. Let Nancy do her job. She is a very hardworking women and has withstood the Bush Administration, Cheney and all the other goones that have tried to take down America for their own profit. She deserve respect. If it wasnt for her the Republican may have won the White House again. Go Nancy!! The questions that the Media keep looking for will come out when the start to investiagate Cheney and Rumfield and the lies of " Weapon of Mass Destruction.

    May 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I for one believe Nancy. I think the CIA were taking orders from Cheney. He most likely told the CIA not disclose the fact that they've already been using torture. Now if the CIA were taking orders from Cheey, that means he was undermining Bushs' authority, which is the equivalent of a coup de' tat. One more thing I'm curious about is why Alberto Gonzalez was signing off on authorizations when he wasn't even Attorney General yet???

    May 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. NUTTER!!!

    @Laura May 22nd, 2009 12:13 pm ET
    All that Botox must have infiltrated her tiny brain.....Ok bird brain Shut your Pie Hole !!!

    May 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. RI Moderate

    She just doesn't have the temperment to be Speaker of the House. She's still so angry at Bush that she strikes out at the CIA! it makes no political sense and is offensive to the many good folks at the CIA.

    You can't govern from the edges (left or right) and you can't govern in a perpetual state of hate and retribution.

    She should step down and let Stenny Hoyer have a shot at the job.

    May 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    She is a liar and a hypocrite. And she knows it. I don't mind her being speaker at all, if this episode keeps her quiet from now on. And if she does choose to open her mouth, she'll only dig the liberals deeper in to the hole.

    May 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Willy Brown

    She must have ran out of Lies

    May 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. RR

    so does this mean that the congress will stop investigating possible past abuses and deception?

    Pelosi wants to move forward, so will she block any further house investigations into the CIA and Bush administration?

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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