The steely House speaker claimed Wednesday that her rule-breaking visit to a San Francisco hair salon this week was the product of a “set up” and demanded an apology from the beauty parlor’s owner.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) has faced fierce backlash since Fox News aired surveillance footage showing her walking through eSalon in San Francisco’s ritzy Marina district on Monday without wearing a face mask after getting her hair done — even though indoor beauty services are outlawed in the city because of the pandemic.
But she told reporters during an unrelated event in her hometown Wednesday that salon staff had assured her beforehand that the visit wasn’t in violation.
“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 ... we’re able to accommodate people, one person, at a time, and that we can set up that time, I trusted that,” Pelosi said. “As it turns out, it was a setup.”
She added: “I think that this salon owes me an apology, for setting me up.”
Erica Kious, owner of the salon, rejected Pelosi’s demand and told Fox News that one of her stylists had informed her in advance that the speaker wanted a wash and blow-dry.
Kious called Pelosi’s mid-pandemic blowout “a slap in the face” to struggling business owners.
President Trump seized on the footage as an opportunity to accuse his Democratic nemesis of being a hypocrite.
“The Beauty Parlor owner must really dislike Crazy Nancy Pelosi. Turning her in, on tape, is a really big deal. She probably treats him like she treats everyone else,” Trump tweeted, misidentifying Kious as a man.
Pelosi’s controversial coif is the latest skirmish in the increasingly turbulent culture war over coronavirus restrictions.
Many of Trump’s supporters believe the regulations are overkill and pointedly avoid them except when absolutely necessary, even though nearly 190,000 Americans have died from the virus so far.
A visibly-testy Pelosi bristled at reporters during her press conference for not asking any questions “about the fact that people are dying” and renewed her demand for Senate Republicans to vote on a massive economic stimulus package passed by the House in May.
Asked why she wasn’t wearing a mask during the salon visit, Pelosi said she only removed it temporarily after the wash.
“I don’t wear a mask when I’m washing my hair. Do you wear a mask when you’re washing your hair?” she said. “I always have a mask.”