CAMBRIDGE, Md. – Even when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expresses determination not to throw more fuel on the fire of the idea that she has any secret knowledge damaging to the presidential prospects of former Speaker Newt Gingrich, it doesn’t seem – well, very determined.
On Thursday, Pelosi was asked during a press briefing at the House Democrats’ annual issues retreat to clarify her latest seemingly cryptic comments in an interview on Tuesday with CNN. Pelosi had repeated her belief Gingrich would never become president, and she also appeared to rekindle her remarks in early December that there is “something” she knows, because she had been a member of the Ethics Committee that investigated him in the late 1990s.
Pelosi responded on Thursday, “It’s all about the public record. And that’s what I’ve said over and over again.”
In fact, her office has said for some time that Pelosi is not referring to any secret dark knowledge, only the Ethics Committee’s final public report on Gingrich. Speculation otherwise had first been aroused in December, when she told Talking Points Memo, “One of these days, we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,’’ and “I know a lot about him.” However, questions were then raised about whether Pelosi would be involving herself in some improper leak of secret information tied to her work on the committee.
“They’ll just have to read the public record,” Pelosi reiterated on Thursday, echoing her office’s insistence that it's the information about Gingrich to which she is referring.
Asked what specifically readers of that public record should focus on, Pelosi responded: “I’m not here to give a road map through the public record.”
She then suggested that the CNN interview had confused things, anyhow, about the “something” she said she knew about Gingrich.
“On a separate subject, I was saying, 'I know he’ll never be president.' And they sort of combined the two things,” in explaining that what she “knew” about Gingrich, wasn’t really some secret information.
“Why do [I] know he’ll never be president? Just an instinct I have,” Pelosi said.