House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she stood by her statement last week in which she accused the CIA of lying to Congress about Bush-era interrogation methods, but then refused to make any more remarks on the topic.
In her first public comments since her accusation last week, Pelosi attempted to tamp down a story that she fueled and now Republicans say she either has to prove or apologize for."
I have made the statement that I'm going to make on this. I don't have any more to say on this," she said at her weekly news conference. "I stand by my comments. And what we are doing is staying on our course and not being distracted from it."
She made this statement whil hiding behind a
"human shield" of her Democratic collegues. To their credit, the "press wouldn't let her" get away with hiding behind her fellow Democrats:
When reporters tried to ask Pelosi about all that has happened since her accusation of the CIA last week - the calls by Republicans for her to resign, and the strong defense of the intelligence community by CIA Director Leon Panetta - Hoyer at first tried to step forward and answer for her.
But reporters asked for Pelosi to respond.
The only response to questions that Pelosi gave, if she would give one at all, would be bring up jobs, healthcare, and other topics that had nothing to do with the elephant in the room.
She may try to hide her head in the sand and hope and pray that this goes away, but Republicans aren't letting Pelosi off so easily.
But Republicans aren't letting this one slide.
The GOP has seized on her accusation that the CIA misled Congress, contending that the California Democrat's remarks have demoralized the intelligence community. House Republicans on Thursday demanded that a bipartisan panel investigate her allegations.
"To have this charge out there and not have it resolved I think is damaging to our intelligence efforts, and certainly will have a chilling effect on our intelligence professionals around the world," House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
While the proposition to have the panel investigation failed in the House, Republicans aren't going to stop there. The only response that Pelosi gave, if she gave one at all, would be bring up jobs, healthcare, and other topics that had nothing to do with the elephant in the room:
There was one shout out from a reporter as Pelosi left the room asking for comment on Rep. Steve King’s personal resolution asking for a suspension of Pelosi’s security clearance.
Pelosi winced but did not answer the question.
On Thursday evening during Special Order speeches, Congressman Steve King (R-Ia) read into the Congressional record a privileged resolution calling for the suspension of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s security clearance stating that if Pelosi’s situation is not resolved by the time the House reconvenes after the Memorial Day district work period, King intends to introduce the resolution.
“The relationship between Members of Congress and the intelligence community cannot be jeopardized because of the Speaker of the House leveling allegations of lying to Congress against our intelligence officials,” King said. “Speaker Pelosi has accused the CIA of committing a federal crime -- lying to Congress. The CIA and other American defense and intelligence agencies cannot trust Nancy Pelosi with our national secrets, let alone our national security, until this matter is resolved. If true, there has been a serious violation of federal law. If false, American national security requires a new Speaker of the House. The severity of Speaker Pelosi’s accusations leaves no middle ground, and her security clearance should be suspended pending investigation.
“If the Speaker is unable or unwilling to provide evidence to support her allegation, that she and Congress have been lied to by the CIA, the American people will be left with no choice but to conclude that she made this allegation for political purposes,” King concluded. “Until her allegations are proven, she should not receive sensitive or classified information pertaining to the national security interests of the United States.”