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. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Let's have Pelosi's truth commission start with her. What did she know and when did she know it. The Dems would like America believe this was all a big surprise to them. The truth is they not only knew, but consistently voted to fund it. Now that public opinion has shifted, they as usaul are blowing in the wind.

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. sky

    Hang in there Nancy. Don't allow the conservative to distract you from doing the right thing. The conservatives are pounding nails into their own coffin and all progressives should hope they keep it up. It's clear as a bell that Dick Chaney is insane and needs help.

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. demwit

    She must have forgot to bring her written statement..

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. sammieb51

    Funny how the GOP is framing and focusing this whole argument on Pelosi - forgetting that there were other people on that committee (1) and (2) that they didn't make the rules, the BIG guys made the rules and they should be on a high flame on that fire.

    May 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Aaron

    in response to Amy...throw Bush and Cheney in Jail? For what? They knew it was going on, never have denied it, it was approved via legal circles. Interesting how it appears that more and more of the bush administration decisions are difficult for the dems and the annoited one to reverse. By the way, no one has every said that the techniques used are torture. Pelosi is Lying about the fact she knew and said nothing now wants to blame others that she is a fool

    May 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. deb0155

    Nancy Pelosi has to go. She is not only a detriment to the country – but she is a huge embarrassment! Nancy, for the country's sake – please GO!

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Trang

    I don't know why people are getting all upset over this. This is a non-issue. Sure, she makes the CIA look bad by her statement, but the CIA isn't that innocent either. We give the CIA some leeway because they are our line of defense. Under Bush/Cheney with their fear and paranoid tendencies, they are probably being asked to do 'unspeakable acts'.

    Will she be an effective House of Speaker w/ all the controversies surround her? That's another question.

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. JLS

    "I stand by my comment and what we are doing is staying on our course and not be distracted from it in this distractive mode. We are going forward in a bipartisan way for jobs, health care, energy for our country," Pelosi said Friday.

    This has got to be the funniest (saddest) thing that Pelosi has ever uttered. She is most partisian politician there is, and she has the gaul to say that. She must of been reading off of Obama's teleprompter.

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. RealityKing

    Disgusting how the progressively state run media doesn't pursue their liberal politicians the same way as the others. Journalism is dead..

    May 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. JT

    The issue is not Pelosi. The issue is TORTURE under the Bush/Cheney administration.

    May 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Jeff in Atlanta

    As a republican, Pelosi needs to stay. She puts a spin on the democrats that we cannot and does more to hurt the democrats than anything the republicans could possibly hope to accomplish. From her lies, to her hardcore partisan actions, to her arrogance, all I have to say is GOOOOOOOOOOOOO Nancy!!!!!!

    We republicans love you and the boost you give our party!

    May 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Dee, NJ

    Ms. Speaker, YOU HAVE MY VOTE! Ex-Pres Bush Jr, was it you or Cheney to make it, and sign it. Jr, Nixon is just like YOU!

    May 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Chester Drawers

    Let's have every politician try to remember something exactly from 2002 and see what happens. Reagan couldn't remember anything about Iran Contra and he was still president when asked about it.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Baze

    Wow, she's a liar and a phony. Get rid of her

    May 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. No More Incumbents

    Vote against her, Franks, Dodd and Reid. Instant term limits........

    May 22, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. Sniff these...Sniffit

    She is such a political liability to the Dim party that I hope she stays as speaker.

    Pelosi, Reid, Biden, Dodd, Frank, Rangel, Edwards, Blago, Jefferson, Spitzer, Patterson, Cigar Clinton, Chappaquiddick Ted, Richardson, Dashle, Conyers, McGreevey........ Cream of the crop of the Dim party?

    Scary, huh....

    May 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Kara

    How can Pelosi "stick by" any comment when she has made so many contridicting statements? And how can so many people blindly support her, when she's clearly lying?

    May 22, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Karen in Florida

    The underniable truth is that Pelosi was fine with EIT's until it became politically expedient to not be. Then she got caught being a hypocrite 🙂

    To all the lemming Democrats here, let me see if I have this right. Someone can call you a liar, and then YOU have to try to prove that you are not a liar, otherwise the accusation stands ...... yeah ... OK.

    May 22, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Amanda B Reckonwith

    If only she had merely outed a CIA operative like Cheney did, then everyone would leave her alone.

    May 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Peter E

    Just resign already! You're a liability to your own constituents, you're a liability to your party, you're a liability to America! A blindfolded Dubya could do a better job leading the House than you!

    May 22, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Jon

    Pelosi is an embarrassment to this country. I am beyond mystified that she holds public office. She is the best her district can do? Really? She is intellectually dishonest or intellectually challenged. Either way, she should not hold high public office. She would likely struggle to say "want fries with that?"

    May 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Keith

    Love ya Nancy!! Keep up the great work for the Republicans!!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Damon

    It funny when the shoes on the other foot. She'd never let bush end a press confrence like that.

    May 22, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Joe

    The gift that keeps giving.
    How can anyone EVER take anything she says at face value. Think about it.

    May 22, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Bev

    Bye, bye Nancy. You've allowed power to go to your head. Lies to cover lies never works. Time to step aside – and I'm not even a Republican!

    May 22, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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