NBC News raised new questions about the attack on Paul Pelosi after publishing, and then quickly retracting, a report that challenged the story of the bizarre incident that has been told by police and mainstream media.
The report from NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer had said that Pelosi did not appear distressed when he answered the door before getting struck with a hammer by suspect David DePape.
NBC retracts Pelosi attack report
According to the deleted NBC report, Paul Pelosi opened the door to police before “walking several feet back into the foyer toward the assailant and away from police.”
Almaguer also said there are questions about Pelosi’s mental state, conceding, “we still don’t know exactly what unfolded between Mr. Pelosi and the suspect for the 30 minutes they were alone inside that house before police arrive.”
It did not take long for the report to disappear, however, with NBC saying it did not meet the outlet’s standards.
“This piece has been removed from publication because it did not meet NBC News reporting standards,” the outlet said.
Early speculation that Paul Pelosi was romantically involved with the attacker was immediately dismissed as an unfounded conspiracy theory, and Democrats from Joe Biden to Barack Obama have used the attack to paint Republicans as dangerously extreme ahead of Tuesday’s national elections.
The attacker’s background has been hotly debated, with the media widely characterizing him as a radical right-wing Trump supporter, although others have described him as having ties to nudism and leftist causes.
DePape, a confirmed illegal immigrant from Canada, was reportedly targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) when he found her husband alone at home.
Paul Pelosi, in a 911 call from his bathroom, described DePape by his first name and called him a “friend.” Some legal experts have said Pelosi may have been speaking in code while under duress.
According to court documents, Pelosi “nervously but calmly” greeted police at the front door before they witnessed a struggle between Pelosi and the assailant over a hammer, which ended with DePape striking Pelosi in the head. An early report said that a “third person” opened the door.
Skeptics have called for the police to release bodycam footage from the night of the attack to no avail. Pelosi was released from the hospital last week after being treated for a skull fracture.