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

Pelosi refuses to answer questions

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. ray ray

    Pelosi-o, the wooden House Speaker – refuses to make any more comments.

    She accuses the CIA of a serious crime but then wants to sweep it under the carpet?? Why Nancy??

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. David

    Time to get a lawyer, Nancy. And perhaps, brush up the resume.

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Stan

    The issue is not torture, the issue is the deomcrats hatered for Bush.

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. donttreadonme

    What happened did Obama secretly instruct the media to attack her? She is a liability and The Great One would now like to see her gone.

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Super D

    I wish she would strap on a suicide vest. She'd be doing all of us a favor.

    May 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Mark in Miami

    Resign, already!!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Grandma

    Let's not forget who order torture Cheney not her . I think they want us to forget how they put us in this mess Bush/Dick. I would not vote to any body is against Obama so watch all of you he is the only one can clean this mess and he needs our help AMERICAN PEOPLE

    May 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. skyhawkdriver

    Quack quack there nancy old girl..all that botox injected in your face has gone to your need to go back to the left coast and hang out in haight ashbury..and they say that the memory is the second thing to go

    May 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. worriedmom

    @JT What do you not understand, the issue is not torture with Pelosi, it is LYING to the American public. It is amazing even when you are wrong, you still find someone to blame. Get off the Bush kick and start seeing reality!!! We have a bunch of lying people up in DC (both parties) that could care less about us and only about their political careers and retirement benefits!

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Truth Hurts

    When somebody question the CIA about misleading and lying to the American people, then Pelosi can answer questions!! Until Bush, Karl Rove, Cheney and Rumsfield answer questions to the CIA and Amerian people, then Pelosi will!!

    The Republicans are trying to use Pelosi as an escape goat for themselves!!

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. ETM

    Pelosi did not handle this well, but remember the issue is the torture practices of the Bush Administration, none of which were implemented by the Speaker. Otherwise, this story is just a distraction from the Republicans.

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. john u

    There's really nothing to indicate that she's not telling the truth.....the "slam dunk" WMD CIA/overthrow democratically elected governments CIA doesn't exactly have a stellar record by any means (someone should give a CIA history lesson to John Boehner and Newt Gingrich...two people who should be well aware of this but amazingly are not). And coming up with 'slam dunk' proof in a cl;assified meeting like this is not Pelosi's's the CIA's.

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Paul from Phoenix

    To JT:

    The issue isn't just about torture, it is WHO knew about the torture, and WHO allowed it to happen. If she knew, and didn't try and stop it, she is just as guilty as the Bush Administration.

    And that goes for ALL of Congress.

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    No, Kristi, she DID NOT DUCK YOUR question! She CLEARLY said that she stood by her previous statement and that she had nothing more to say. Can you reporters not HEAR that? That is an answer!

    May 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Mary

    Bottom line is she is either a liar or incompetent. Her position is too powerful and too important to be either. She is nothing more than a liability now. She is a disgrace to democrats and women.

    May 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Republican Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush and CIA supplied weapons to Taliban and other Muslim Separatists to Disintegrate USSR in the 1980s and 1990s. These weapons were used in Bloodshed of thousands in Kazakhstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan Azerbaijan. So now Russia is supplying weapons to Al Quida to Attack US. Who is a bigger threat? Russia or these Guantanamo Detainees?

    May 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Pee Wee

    She stands by her comment...that's a laugh. Which comment? I've seen about 4 different spins, which one is she standing by?

    Having to listen to her twisted explanations is torture.

    Please Ms. Pelosi, please resign and quit embarassing us Democrats.

    Who would you have replace her, who is next in line? Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Deb Wasserman Schultz?


    May 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Mississippi Mike

    Of course she is ducking questions, the answers only make her look worse. I hope we drag this out until she is removed from being the Speaker because she is corrupt and a liar and we finally have the smoking gun we need to show the public what is wrong with our Congress.

    May 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. david

    why stonewall, if you have nothing to hide? telling the truth might be painful but it is far easier, and less painful, than covering it up. if you have nothing to hide pelosi, then please step up and be 100% forthcoming at all times. else, if you don't, everyone will suspect you are, indeed, hiding something or lying through your teeth.

    May 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Shawn

    I agree with J.P. Pelosi needs to stay on as Speaker and get as much face time as possible in the media. She is the golden goose that keeps on giving to the Republicans. She is doing a great job!

    May 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Richard A. Spomer, Alexandria, VA

    The problem is that reporters are letting her slide easy; on any questions of lying, covering-up, miss-leading, and we could increase this list on tactics of torture, by telling fabricated stories.

    May 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. ron

    Wow, CNN does have something on this history making story. Even if I did have to "dig" for it.

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Gary

    She knew about the waterboarding and she did not object to any of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques. She tried to use this issue to attack Bush when he isn't even in office anymore? (why waste her time?). She lied about what she knew and got caught. She lied about the CIA and got caught. enough said. She is finally doing the smart thing and keeping her mouth closed. PLEASE! PLEASE! LETS MOVE ON!

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Pel

    Madam Speaker did not dodge or duck questions at her briefing today concerning what the CIA failed to tell her about waterboarding when Pres Bush was in power. She stated very loud and clear SHE WAS STANDING BY HER PREVIOUS STATEMENTS CONCERNING THE CIA. I do not know how she could be any clearer. She said what she meant and meant what she said. There is nothing else to be said.

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Turkelton

    Resign before it is to late Pelosi, your killing the party.

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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