U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) landed in some hot water this week with the release of surveillance footage from a San Francisco hair salon showing her maskless and in apparent violation of local ordinances meant to limit the spread of COVID-19.
When confronted with the matter by reporters, however, she was in no rush to apologize. Instead, she claimed the business’s owner set her up, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Slap in the face”
Pelosi’s remarks came after she reportedly visited the salon on Monday, one day before the city’s salons were allowed to reopen for outdoor service only.
Nevertheless, she denied that she was aware her behavior violated any rule, explaining that she made personal arrangements with a stylist for a personal appointment.
The salon’s owner, Erica Kious, released the footage of Pelosi walking inside the business without a face mask. While she said she “can’t control” the behavior of independent contractors, Kious called it a “slap in the face” for an elected official to access her business even as she struggles to stay in business amid coronavirus shutdowns.
Given Pelosi’s previous insistence that citizens follow health guidelines and mask mandates, the latest incident opened her up to allegations of hypocrisy. Nevertheless, she ducked responsibility for her own actions and instead placed the blame on Kious and her salon.
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon that I have been to many times,” she told reporters on Wednesday. “When they said they could accommodate people one at a time, and we can set up that time, I trusted that.”
“Nothing but hate text messages”
When asked whether she believed she should apologize to the salon, Pelosi said she thinks she is the one who deserves an apology.
“As it turns out, it was a setup,” she said. “So I take responsibility for falling for a setup.”
Kious appeared on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight to respond to Pelosi’s claims, which she called “absolutely false.”
She said she has received “nothing but hate text messages, death threats,” noting that her “Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews.”
President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter, suggesting that Kious might be a better fit for the House speakership than Pelosi. Among the many California business owners and other residents struggling under the current speaker’s policies, Trump’s suggestion would likely be a welcomed change.