From NBC's Luke Russert and Mark Murray
Responding to President Obama's national security speech today, House Minority Leader John Boehner criticized the president's stance on the closing of Guantanamo Bay. "Republicans oppose releasing these terrorists or importing them into our local communities," he said today at his weekly press conference.
Boehner also accused Obama of holding a "pre-9/11 mentality" in fighting terrorism -- which he argued has made America less safe. "Today, the president spoke a great deal about trust, but he declined to provide Americans with a clear plan for what to do with these terrorists," he added.
"What he did make clear, however, was that despite the overwhelming opposition from the American people and a bipartisan majority here in Congress, he's moving ahead importing terrorists into the United States for trial in our own civilian courts. I think this is a pre-9/11 mentality and I think it'll make our nation less safe. We cannot afford to learn the same lesson twice."
Also in his press conference, Boehner again went on the attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her back-and-forth with the CIA. He also noted that House Republicans were introducing a resolution to launch an investigation into Pelosi's allegations that the CIA misled her on the use of waterboarding. As expected, however, the Democratic-controlled House tabled the measure.
"The Speaker has had a full week to produce evidence to back up her allegations, and frankly I am disappointed she hasn't done so," Boehner said. "We'll have no choice but to call for a bipartisan investigation.
During the Q&A with reporters, Boehner added that Pelosi's charge against the CIA was "damaging to our intelligence efforts and is having a chilling effect on our intelligence officials around the world." Boehner was then asked by reporters about a recent story being circulated by Democrats noting that Boehner accused the intelligence community of "misleading him" by changing the 2007 national intelligence estimate about Iran.
In response, Boehner said: "We are mixing apples and oranges here. It's different because when the national intelligence estimate with regard to Iran, it contradicted most everything I had been told in the six months leading up to it, and that's why I questioned what was coming out of this group that put the report together." When pressed further about whether his own accusations had a "chilling effect" on the intelligence community Boehner said: "No, I was questioning how this national intelligence estimate could vary and contradict a lot of information I had been told for the six months coming up to it. As simple as that."