Fox News personalities have called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down as speaker because of the controversy over what the Bush administration told her about its use of harsh interrogation techniques.
In recent days, Fox News personalities have called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down as speaker because of the controversy over what the Bush administration told her about its use of harsh interrogation techniques. For example, on the May 14 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, contributor Dick Morris stated, "This is not the time to be without a speaker of the House of Representatives. And Nancy Pelosi will not be able to devote her time and attention to the Obama legislative program if she's defending this. It is in the best interest of the American people that this not serve as a distraction and that she step down." Morris later added, "At the end of the summer, we're going to be talking about how Speaker Steny Hoyer is no improvement over the former speaker, Nancy Pelosi."
Similarly, earlier that day on America's Newsroom, Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros stated, "I think the Democrats need to come out and call for her to tell the truth or resign, because she is really -- she's hurting her colleagues." When Kelly asked Tantaros, "Is it that bad? Are we at the point where a resignation demand should be made?" Tantaros responded, "Absolutely. And I think her colleagues need to do it. I think they need to call for her to either come out, tell what she knew, when she knew it, testify. If they find her to be lying, then she needs to step down."
Additionally, on the next day's edition of America's Newsroom, co-host Megyn Kelly asked Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of Pelosi: "[C]an she be held accountable, if indeed the American public believes that she lied, if the members of the House believe that she lied, and on top of lying, she then threw our CIA under the bus? What can be done to take away the speakership? What would be the procedure for that?" The same day, the supposedly unbiased Fox Nation also posted the headline "Watch Nancy Twist in the Wind: Is Her Speakership in Jeopardy?"
From the May 15 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
KELLY: Did you see the Nancy Pelosi's news conference yesterday afternoon? Happened around 11 o'clock, right as our show ended. Did you see it? The speaker of the House opening a whole new can of worms in the back-and-forth over interrogations and the war on terror. Now she continues to try to explain her own contradictory statements and took it a step further yesterday by sending the CIA actively lied to the U.S. Congress repeatedly about what they were doing.
PELOSI [video clip]: They did not brief us that these enhanced interrogations were taking place. ... They never told us that these enhanced interrogations were being used.
We were not -- I repeat, were not -- told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel -- the Office of Legislative Counsel opinions that they could be used.
No, I wasn't informed. I was informed that a briefing had taken place. You have to look at what they briefed those members. I was not briefed then. I was only informed that they were briefed, but I did not get the briefing.
KELLY: Well, this has created a huge firestorm, not just for Republicans but among Democrats as well, at least some of them. And now some Republicans are calling her comments outrageous. Some are talking about her losing her speakership over this.
Congressman Steve King is on the House Judiciary Committee. He joins us live this morning. Congressman, good morning to you.
KING: Good morning, Megyn.
KELLY: I don't know about you, but I watched this and it was stunning. I mean, it was stunning to see her out there trying to defend herself. I've never seen her quite so rattled. And now there are some who are saying given her statements all over the board on this, and an open accusation that our CIA has been lying to the U.S. Congress, that she needs to step down from this speakership. What say you?
KING: Well, Megyn, it's an outrageous accusation that she's made against our brave CIA officers. And if she believes that the integrity of the office of speaker of the House of the United States can trump the truth or trump the records that are out there -- that seems to be the case. I mean, it is utter arrogance to think she can roll back the truth. And we need to know, when was Nancy Pelosi briefed? I believe it was in September of 2002. I think she knew in advance. What did she know, when did she know it?
I believe she didn't react to that. I think it was acceptable because she understood then that the nation was under threat and under attack, and then for political reasons, spun this thing all the way around. There's got to be credibility in the office of the speakership. And we have seen speakers lose their gavel for far less than calling the CIA a bunch of liars. So let's get the data out.
KELLY: You know --
KING: If the president can release the interrogation documents, we can release these documents on the briefing.
KELLY: You know, Congressman, whatever people think of the CIA, there is no question that the men and women who worked there had a huge hand in keeping us safe for the past several years. It's one thing to talk about interrogation techniques and so on and so forth -- these people actually had to do it. Whether you think is right or not, there's no question that they helped prevent another attack on American soil. Instead of going out there and calling them patriots or thanking them for keeping us safe, she publicly calls them out on the carpet and says they have lied repeatedly. Now, if she really believes that, Congressman, are there not procedures that she should be following with the Department of Justice?
KING: She's at some point going to have to face the truth, Megyn. And she should have -- if she believed the CIA was lying, she should have brought this issue up a long time ago. We've known about this for a long time. She is not making this statement because now she's indignant that the CIA lied to her, according to her allegations back in September of 2002. She is squealing because she's caught out in the open with a statement that's clearly not factually true. It's not a question of whether Nancy Pelosi told the truth, it's if and when she told the truth, because I can't verify that she did. I think we can verify that the CIA did. And those documents need to come out, and then let the Democrats decide if they want to stand and defend the speaker of the House, who is undermining our national security actively, without any reason except to protect her own political hide.
KELLY: Now, you know, the polls so far -- and they were taken before this whole Nancy Pelosi dustup -- said that the American people don't want a truth commission. They want to go forward, they want what the president wants, which is go forward and not spend all this time and money in the U.S. Congress looking backward. Now, I don't know how they feel in the wake of the Pelosi scandal. But my question is, if they feel the same, and they still don't want a truth commission, what can be done? I mean, can she be held accountable, if indeed the American public believes that she lied, if the members of the House believe that she lied, and on top of lying, she then threw our CIA under the bus? What can be done to take away the speakership? What would be the procedure for that?
KING: Megyn, I would just tell you that it lies in the hands of Democrats. As long as they will support Speaker Pelosi, she will be the speaker. When their seats become vulnerable -- if they're afraid that they're gonna lose their seats because they vote for and defend this kind of activity that undermines our national security -- at that point, they'll find themselves a new speaker.
That's what it comes down to. It's pure, raw politics. She's been playing politics with our national security. It was this speaker, Speaker Pelosi, that brought over 40 votes to the floor of the House of Representatives in the 110th Congress that were designed to un-fund, underfund, or undermine our troops in Iraq in an attempt to bring about a result there that would be the exact opposite of what our troops and President Bush have achieved today.
So this is an enemy of national security that holds the gavel of the speaker of the House, and now she's accusing the CIA, the people who have kept us safe over all these years to be a group of liars who willfully and calculatedly lied to the United States Congress. It is outrageous, and the American people need to speak to their Democrat members of Congress and ask them to come up with a new speaker.
KELLY: Congressman Steve King, thanks so much for coming on with your insights in it. We appreciate you being here.