Then she heard a loud knock on her door.
“So I ran out the door and I was really scared — I see the Capitol police, and they said we need to come in to talk to you,” Pelosi said in the interview that aired Monday. “And I think, my children, my grandchildren. I never thought it would be Paul because I knew he wouldn’t be out, shall we say.
What she would later learn was that 82-year-old Paul Pelosi had been attacked by a hammer-wielding assailant who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home. Paul Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, and is still recovering from the attack. He was released from a San Francisco-area hospital last week after undergoing skull surgery.
But in the early hours of October 28, Nancy Pelosi and the police officers who had woken her knew little. At one point during the interview, the Speaker of the House had to pause to collect her emotions.
“At that time, we didn’t even know where he was or what his condition was,” she told CNN. “We just knew there had been an attack on him, in our house.”
Asked how the suspect, David Wayne DePape, allegedly went after her, and not her husband, Pelosi replied, “That’s really the hardest part.”
“Paul was not the target, but he was the one paying the price,” she said.
Shortly after the attack, federal authorities filed attempted kidnapping and assault charges against 42-year-old DePape. According to charging documents, DePape told authorities after his arrest that he planned to “hold Nancy hostage” and break her kneecaps to send a message to other Democrats. .
The Washington Post confirmed that a blog written under DePape’s name was filled with anti-Semitic writing and baseless allegations as well as pro-Trump and anti-Democratic messages. It was recorded at a home in Richmond, Calif., where DePape lives, according to neighbors.
Many Democrats have denounced the attack as the result of incendiary rhetoric from Republicans, suggesting Pelosi’s alleged attacker was influenced by right-wing misinformation and conspiracy theories propagated by supporters of former President Donald Trump. .
At a campaign event on the evening of October 28, President Biden called on the crowd to stand up “clearly and unambiguously” against political violence.
“Which makes us think that a party can talk about stolen elections, covid being a hoax, [that it’s] a whole bunch of lies, and it doesn’t affect people who maybe aren’t so balanced? Biden said then. “What makes us think this is not going to change the political climate? Enough is enough is enough.
Like Biden, Pelosi saw a connection between the Jan. 6 rioters who sought to find her at the Capitol, calling out her name, and the man who broke into her home.
“No doubt it’s the same thing,” she said.
Most Republican leaders condemned the attack on Paul Pelosi – although many were also quick to associate such denunciations with claims of blame on “both sides” for the rise in political violence. Still others in the GOP turned the brutal attack on the House Speaker’s octogenarian husband into a punchline, joking about the incident at campaign events and sharing mocking Halloween memes and costumes of aggression.
Nancy Pelosi has denounced the mockery of her husband’s attack. CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked her about former President Donald Trump and billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk promoting conspiracy theories related to the incident.
“It’s really sad for the country that people of such visibility are separating themselves from the facts and the truth,” she said.
Devlin Barrett, Eugene Scott and Holly Bailey contributed to this report.
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