If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought her press conference on Thursday would put to rest accusations that she knew about waterboarding of terrorist suspects and did nothing to stop it, the exact opposite seems to be happening.
By accusing the CIA of misleading her and other members of Congress, she has ratcheted up the controversy.
Republicans are hammering her, defending the spy agency, and some are calling for her to step down as speaker.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said she is involved in a "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort" to withhold what she knew about the interrogations.
""I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," Gingrich said on ABC Radio.
Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican, called on Pelosi to resign. On Fox News Channel, he said that her criticism of the CIA was "an outrageous accusation" and said that it was the height of arrogance for her "to think she can roll back the truth."
"I think it's a tragedy that we are seeing this massive attack on our intelligence community which has kept us safe," Senator Kit Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on NBC's "Today" show where he questioned why Pelosi was "going after the agency and calling them liars."
In the news conference Thursday, Pelosi insisted that in a CIA briefing she received in September 2002 she was told that waterboarding was not being used when it was.
UPDATE: The current chief of the CIA defended the agency today. "Let me be clear. It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress," CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote in a message to agency employees that was released to the public. "That is against our laws and our values."
UPDATE: "My criticism of the manner in which the Bush administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe," Pelosi responded.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.