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. mattymatt

    If it is proven she lied then she should be forced out and lose her pension.

    May 22, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Steve

    I don't like Speaker Pelosi, but before we rush to judgement, I would like to know the facts about her briefings (if possible). But, at the end of the day, the debate should be about our government using illegal interrogation methods – let's not forget that, no matter how hard the Republicans are trying to divert attention.

    May 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Brent

    Pelosi is a liar and should step down.

    May 22, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Again, it's the torture, stupid.

    May 22, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Adrienne

    Nancy Pelosi...LIAR!!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Bob the Observer

    It's called "stonewalling" when a Republican does it.

    May 22, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Jon

    To "Pee Wee": Thanks for the chuckle. Good one.

    May 22, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. annie for Palin

    How can this disgrace of a human being let alone a politician accuse the CIA of lying to congress and not have to prove that or the CIA disaprove of it? AND people wonder why we don't want the government in our lives. Either this woman needs to be removed or the CIA needs to be thoroughly investigated. There is NO middle ground – you are either honest or dishonest!

    May 22, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Manny BLUM, Bernalillo

    How long it will take to get rid of PELOSI ??

    This interview is a further nail in her coffin.

    The trick calling for the release of the complete CIA documents is laughable, we all know that because of their national security content they cannot be released. Is the testimony of a top Democrat as Director Panetta not reliable enough ??

    May 22, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Ronald Clowney

    Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing by not repeating herself over and over again. You can't unscramble scramble eggs. She said what she had to say and now let's move on to what is in front of the country like jobs, health care, and energy.

    May 22, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Jim

    She needs to be impeached. Not for calling the CIA liars, we all know that, but for not impeaching Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Condie and the rest. IMPEACH PELOSI. IMPEACH REID. DEMOCRATS UNITE.

    May 22, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. wwf

    I voted Democrat, but have always felt she should go. Now is as good as time as any.

    May 22, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Andi

    Aaron – Bush and Cheney REPEATEDLY denied that torture was going on! How can you claim they never denied it? "We do not torture' came right out of Bush's mouth!

    May 22, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Melissa

    She shouldn't have opened her mouth in the first place, just like Cheney shouldn't be. Its time they all just shut up did their jobs, like they adults they're supposed to be.

    May 22, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. mattymatt

    It's interrogation, to call it torture, would be like calling a terrorist attack something like a man mad disaster.

    May 22, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Michele

    Boehner admitted last night that the CIA lied...why is that not a headline?

    Pelosi is not my favorite person either, but I believe she was sworn to secrecy, which is why impeachment was "off the table." She knew that meeting would come out. Regardless, she neither authorized not committed any crime...let's focus on the real bad guys here.

    May 22, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Dale

    Which is a more important question: Who knew about the crime or who ordered the crime?

    May 22, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. WADE LACOSTE

    Please I beg you Nancy, don't resign. The Republican's need you. You should take on the IRS and the FBI, that would be rich.

    May 22, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. ghost

    Man, they took down that Ridge article quick.

    May 22, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Stephen

    Conservatives warned you about these people. Everyone insisted Pelosi, Reid, et al were fine upstanding citizens who would sacrifice for this country. Now you see what you get. I don't know why it took you three years to see it. How much longer are you going to buy into their snake oil to the detriment of all of us?

    May 22, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Pat F

    Bob and weave all you want to,sugar pie. Your authority is gone, your credibility is shot. You are exposed for the hack you have always been.

    May 22, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. anita

    Dementia besets most politicians at all levels at some time.
    Unfortunately, Pelosi's constituents suffer from a condition much worse-

    May 22, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. Pat F

    @Amanda B Reckonwith: You're a moron. Read a paper once in a while.

    Richard Armitage outed Valerie Plame. It's not a theory, sweetie, it's a fact. Armitage was Colin Powell's underling – and Colin knew about it from day one.

    I suggest you Google it (get Mom's permission first, though!). Then, learn to think before you talk.

    May 22, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. G

    Am not one to defend Pelosi but when are you guys going to stop asking the same questions. It gets really annoying hearing the same answers after awhile.

    May 22, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Lorna

    She and Harry Reid should step aside.......just as soon as the war criminals from the Bush Administration are prosecuted in a court of law. How do you know she's lying? Must have been more people in those briefings than we know about! The CIA lie? Oh, pshaw!!!!! HA!

    May 22, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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