White House plays Pelosi salon video to open briefing

The White House started its press briefing on Thursday by playing a video showing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visiting a San Francisco hair salon earlier in the week despite restrictions on such businesses due to the coronavirus.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany opened the briefing by denouncing Pelosi’s salon trip. McEnany played the video footage showing the Speaker in the salon on a loop during her introduction. 

“Nancy Pelosi was not in the halls of Congress when I asked where she was,” McEnany said. “She was not working in good faith to make a deal for the American people.”

“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,” she continued. “Apparently, the rules do not apply to Nancy Pelosi.” 

The press secretary accused Pelosi of “holding up” coronavirus relief by not striking a deal with Republicans and the White House within the past month, while getting “special access” to the eSalon in San Francisco. 

“Nancy Pelosi, you ought to apologize to the American people, or better yet come back to Washington and get to work for hard working Americans like this salon owner that you maligned and demanded an apology from,” she said. 

President Trump jumped on the criticism in a tweet released shortly after McEnany’s introduction.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi said she was ‘set up’ by the beauty parlor owner when she improperly had the salon opened (and didn’t wear a MASK!),” he posted. “Does anyone want a Speaker of the House who can be so easily SET UP?”

The White House elevated the news about Pelosi visiting a hair salon after a video circulated on Tuesday showing her inside the salon without a mask over her face, prompting sharp criticism from Republicans. 

Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Pelosi, tweeted in response to the president, saying “Does anyone want a President of the United States who is more focused on this nonsense rather than crushing the virus and saving American lives?”

The news comes as the U.S. has confirmed more than 6.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 186,018 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Pelosi claimed on Wednesday that she was “set up” by the salon that said it was allowed to have one customer inside at a time, despite San Francisco rules that kept salons shut down. The city began allowing outdoor salon services on Tuesday, a day after Pelosi’s appointment. 

San Francisco’s guidelines state that “any service that requires your customer to remove their face covering are not permitted at this time.”

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon that I’ve been to over the years many times, and that when they said that we’re able to accommodate people one person at a time and that we could set up that time, I trusted that. As it turns out, it was a set up. So I take responsibility for falling for the set up,” Pelosi said at a press conference Wednesday.

The salon owner Erica Kious told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday that she has received “death threats” for revealing Pelosi’s appointment.

Tags California Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Pelosi salon visit Salon Tucker Carlson White House White House press briefing

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