White House, critics launch new attacks over Pelosi's salon trip
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Nancy Pelosi came under renewed attack from the White House and a small group of critics in San Francisco who sought to increase the heat in the simmering controversy over the House speaker's now infamous trip to a hair salon.
The White House opened Thursday's press briefing by playing a video of Pelosi getting her hair done at a San Francisco salon earlier this week in violation of restrictions on some indoor services. The criticism continued in the afternoon with a modest protest outside of Pelosi's home and a press conference held by the salon owner who became emotional and called for Pelosi to apologize.
Standing at the podium, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized Pelosi for her salon visit. McEnany played video footage of Pelosi inside the salon in rotation on two large screens.
"Two briefings ago I asked 'Where is Nancy Pelosi?' Today I can announce we have found Nancy Pelosi," McEnany said.
"Nancy Pelosi was not in the halls of Congress when I asked where she was. She was not working in good faith to make a deal for the American people. Nope, Nancy Pelosi was found in San Francisco at a hair salon where she was indoors even though salons in California are only open for outdoor service," McEnany said. "Apparently, the rules do not apply for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Nancy wants small businesses to stay shutdown but only reopen for her."
President Trump tweeted repeatedly about Pelosi, one of his frequent political adversaries.
Pelosi got her hair washed and blown dry indoors at a salon on Monday, in apparent violation of San Francisco's COVID-19 rules.
Pelosi has said she was the victim of a setup and owed an apology by the salon owner.
She also said she only briefly removed the mask to wash her hair and was misinformed that private appointments in the salon were allowed.
Salon owner Erica Kious has said the appointment was made by a stylist who rents a station from her and works independently.
Security footage showed that her mouth and nose were not covered at a time when the city required masks in most public settings and only began allowing hair salons and barbershops to perform haircuts outdoors on September 1.
A small group of protesters gathered outside of Pelosi's home on Thursday. They accused Pelosi of enjoying unfair privileges at a time when many businesses are shut.
The afternoon culminated with salon owner Erica Kious tearfully speaking on Zoom about the scandal. She denied setting up Pelosi, though the stylist has countered that Kious violated public health orders by continuing to serve clients in the salon.
"I don't owe anyone an apology," Kious said, "Mrs. Pelosi owes the entire country an apology."