WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2010 -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conceded that embattled Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel's recent admonishment from the House Ethics Committee was "not good," but seemingly downplayed its seriousness in a network exclusive interview on ABC News' "This Week," saying "it was not a something that jeopardized our country in any way."
During a press conference this morning, Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters that the Ethics Committee report was an indictment of the congressman's staffers, not Rangel's, D-N.Y.
But in the "This Week" interview set to air Sunday, the speaker of the House seemed to strike a different tone.
"The fact is, is that what Mr. Rangel has been admonished for is not good," Pelosi told ABC's Elizabeth Vargas. "It was a violation of the rules of the House. It was not something that jeopardized our country in any way. So it remains to be seen what the rest of the work of the committee is. And I hope it will be soon. But again, it's independent and they ... go at their own pace."
Pelosi made clear she did not want to "interfere in a political way" when asked if Rangel should step down for charges made this week that he violated House gift rules by accepting corporate-funded trips to the Caribbean. Instead, Pelosi agreed officials should wait for the full recommendations given by the independent, bipartisan House ethics committee before going any further.
To watch the full interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tune in THIS SUNDAY only on "This Week."