Pelosi Wants to Move on From Torture ‘Distraction’

By Lindsey Ellerson

May 22, 2009 12:55pm

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports: The combative Nancy Pelosi was gone this week, replaced with someone on-message who wants to move forward from talking about Bush-era torture techniques. The woman who last week accused the CIA of lying to her and misleading Congress — a crime — this week wants to move on. Pelosi came to her weekly press conference with reinforcements – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., all of whom spoke at length on boilerplate Democratic priorities before reporters even got a question to Pelosi off. At a 30 minute press conference, the first question did not come until minute 25. 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. She said: "I have made the statement I’m going to make about this. I don’t have anything more to say about it… what we are doing is staying on our course and not being distracted from it and this is a distraction… moving forward in a bipartisan way for jobs, health care, energy for our country." "On the subject you asked, I’ve made by statement," Pelosi again said.  "I don’t have anything more to say." The House speaker ignored other attempts to ask her questions about the CIA and her allegations last week. Granted, there has been a lot of activity in Congress this week. Ahead of a week-long recess, sweeping bills to reform the credit card industry, the defense acquisitions process, provide nearly $91 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, revamp federal mortgage assistance programs and help the DOJ go after mortgage fraud were all considered by the House. But amid all that activity, Pelosi has stayed away from questioning reporters and the torture debate has consumed Washington, largely fueled by Pelosi’s contention last week that the CIA, under President Bush, did not inform her of the torture techniques they were employing when she was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee after 9/11.

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