Pelosi Backtracks on CIA Claims

Speakers shifts focus to Bush administration after Panetta rebuff
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2009 2:16 AM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pauses during a news conference about the Obama administration's first 100 days on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi retreated yesterday from her claim the CIA lied to Congress about its interrogation program and shifted the blame to the Bush administration, Politico reports. The speaker said her criticism is "separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe.” Pelosi was rebuffed by CIA head Leon Panetta shortly before issuing her statement.

Pelosi did not retract her claim that she was not told about the waterboarding of a detainee in 2002, a statement Democratic insiders say the speaker verified before making by sending an aide to check the notes of the meeting. The White House declined to comment on Pelosi's claims. “I appreciate the invitation to get involved here, but I'm not gonna RSVP," press secretary Robert Gibbs said. (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)

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