Nancy Pelosi has claimed that her husband Paul was attacked inside their San Francisco home because she is ‘very effective’, describing herself as ‘outstanding’ – even as she hinted the break-in may encourage her to retire.
In her first television interview since her 82-year-old husband suffered skull fractures in the hammer attack, Pelosi told CNN that he had part of his skull removed and reshaped during surgery – describing it as a ‘pretty serious operation’.
Holding back tears at times, Pelosi told Anderson Cooper that she was ‘traumatized’ by the fact that her husband was injured as a result of her actions.
‘This for me is really the hard part because Paul was not the target, and he’s the one who is paying the price,’ she said, in an interview which was broadcast on Monday night.
‘I’ve been a target for a long time. Because I’m very effective.
‘I’m a great, she says, master of the legislation.
‘I love doing that. That is what I love to do, is to write legislation, and – on the policy side.
‘On the political side, I’m an outstanding, shall we say, a master of the resources necessary, intellectual, financial, political to win elections.
‘So they have to put a stop to me, right, because they know that I’m about having our members succeed.’
Nancy Pelosi on Monday night gave her first television interview since her husband was attacked on October 28
Paul Pelosi (right) was attacked by a man with a hammer last month at the couple’s San Francisco home. Speaker Pelosi (left) was not home at the time of the attack
Pelosi, also 82, said that her husband was recovering well, but faced a long road ahead of him following the October 28 attack.
His attacker, David DePape, 42, was arrested immediately and is facing multiple charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapons and assaulting a relative of a federal official.
Pelosi told Cooper her husband was hit with a hammer in the head, ‘on the top in two places.’
She added: ‘And that’s pretty awful. That’s pretty awful.
‘But the good news was: the healthcare professionals at San Francisco General, they told us it had not pierced his brain, which was – could be deadly or worse.’
She said the hammer cracked his skull.
‘It had cracked. What they have to do is take off the skull, reshape it and put it back so it isn’t scratched or pierce the brain.
‘So it’s pretty serious operation.’
She said their son Paul Jr was by his bedside when he came round following the operation and, on learning Nancy was on her way, said: ‘Oh, your mother’s gonna be very happy because the Ravens won last night.’
She said his remarks gave her hope for his long-term prognosis.
Nancy Pelosi told Anderson Cooper she was ‘traumatized’ by the attack on her husband
Aerial footage showed broken panes and shatter glass at the backdoor of Pelosi’s home
FBI agents work outside the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi where her husband Paul Pelosi was ‘violently assaulted’ after a break-in at their house
Pelosi told of the moment she learnt of the attack, admitting she was ‘scared’ when she heard the doorbell and five bangs at her Washington DC apartment door – assuming that whoever was there was mistaken, and had got the wrong place.
‘I look up, I see it’s 5am, they must be at the wrong apartment,’ she said.
‘So I run to the door, and I’m very scared.
‘I see the Capitol Police and they say, ‘We have to come in to talk to you.”
Pelosi said she immediately thought about her grandchildren and children, and initially did not suspect the news would be about her husband.
David DePape (pictured) is charged with six counts relating to the attack, including attempted murder, burglary, assault, false imprisonment and threatening the family member of a public official
‘I never thought it would be Paul because, you know, I knew he wouldn’t be out and about, shall we say,’ she said.
‘And so they [Capitol Police] came in. At that time, we didn’t even know where he was.
‘All we knew is there had been an assault on him in our home’.
DePape is charged with six counts relating to the attack, including attempted murder, burglary, assault, false imprisonment and threatening the family member of a public official.
He has pleaded not guilty to all state charges.
Immigration officials revealed after the attack that DePape was in the country illegally, after overstaying his visa from Canada.
In the closing stages of midterm campaigning, Democrats say the attack on Paul Pelosi is evidence of the heightened risk of political violence – and have solely placed the blame on former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and his supporters’ actions.
At some point during the break-in and attack, Paul Pelosi managed to get to a bathroom where he was able to call the police.
Nancy said she has not been able to bring herself to listen to the audio.
DePape was listening in on the phone call, and knew police were going to arrive, according to FBI interrogators.
On his arrest, he ‘explained that he did not leave after Pelosi’s call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender.’
Pelosi said that she thought Joe Biden was correct when he drew a correlation between the January 6 riot and the attack on her husband.
‘There’s no question. It’s the same thing,’ she said.
‘Copycatter, whatever it happens to be, inflamed by the same misrepresentation.
‘But the fact is right now it’s time for healing. We want the country to heal. This is not a path that we can continue on.’
Paul and Nancy Pelosi married in 1963 and have five children; above they are seen together in London last year when she had meetings at 10 Downing Street
She said she was dismayed that Elon Musk and Donald Trump both shared conspiracy theories about the attack, suggesting that Paul Pelosi somehow knew his assailant.
‘It’s really sad for the country,’ she said.
‘It’s really sad for the country that people of that high visibility would separate themselves from the facts and the truth in such a blatant way.
‘It’s really sad, and it is traumatizing to those affected by it, they don’t care about that, obviously.’
The veteran politician, who was first elected to Congress 35 years ago, said she felt there needed to be a strong Republican party, but was saddened that it had turned into ‘a cult’.
‘The G.O.P., a strong Republican party, has done great things for our country and they should take pride in that – instead of yielding to a cult, to a thug, actually, the way I see it,’ she said.
Pelosi, who has served in Congress since 1987, said that the attack on her husband will affect her decisions about her political future following the midterm elections on Tuesday.
She has not yet said if she would remain in her Democratic leadership role if her party loses House control following the results of the November 8 midterms.
Cooper asked Pelosi if she would confirm if she has made a decision on leadership, saying: ‘there’s been a lot of discussion about whether you’d retire if Democrats lose the House.’
She said that she did not want to make any announcement, and would not reveal whether her mind had been made up, but replied: ‘The decision will be affected about what happened over the last week or two.’
Cooper asked: ‘Will your decision be impacted by the attack in any way?’
‘Yes,’ Pelosi said.
David DePape, the former nudist turned unhinged conspiracy theorist, who attacked Paul Pelosi inside his $6 million San Francisco home
DePape is a former nudist from British Columbia who has struggled with drugs and posts crazed COVID conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic rants, racist slurs and unhinged screeds about religion online.
Cops say were at the property in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood when they saw the suspect grapple with Pelosi, take the hammer and then hit him with it, causing severe head, arm and hand injuries.
When they arrested Depape, they found a manifesto that contained anti-government COVID beliefs and a list of other politicians he planned to target, KTVU reported.
Pelosi was taken into surgery to repair a skull fracture after the attack but is expected to make a full recovery, while DePape is in custody and set to be charged with multiple felonies including attempted homicide.
President Joe Biden called the attack ‘horrible’ and Republican and Democrats condemned the violence as the House Speaker rushed from DC to San Francisco to be at her husband’s side.
DePape, right, is seen at a naked wedding on the steps of City Hall in December 2013
DePape would frequently post conspiratorial blog posts on his various website
Pelosi was taken into brain surgery after the attack but is expected to make a full recovery, while DePape is set to be charged with multiple felonies including attempted homicide. He is pictured with Nancy at the Time 100 Gala in 2019
DePape grew up north of the border but moved from British Columbia to California 20 years ago. He followed a love interest, his stepfather told CNN, and family members have insisted he was a ‘good kid’.
He ended up in the Berkeley area, an ultra-liberal enclave of the city, where he lived in a three-bedroom Victorian flat with famed nudist activist Gypsy Taub and a group who believed 9/11 was an ‘inside job’.
A November 2008 article in the Oakland Tribune reported that he had ‘three small children’ with Russian-born Taub. She was quoted in the article on community meals saying: ‘In Russia, where I am from, people share more, and I want my kids to grow up knowing sharing.’
Taub and her fiance Jaymz Smith tapped DePape to be their best man at their nudist wedding in 2013, but he stayed dressed and took photos during the ceremony that attracted a huge police presence.
An acquaintance of his told CNN that DePape was struggling with hard drugs about eight years ago but was ‘trying to create a new life for himself.’ She said she cut off contact with DePape after receiving ‘disturbing’ emails in which he sounded ‘dangerous’ and ‘out of touch with reality.’
His social media showed he posted conspiracy theories about the origins of the covid epidemic, about the validity of the 2020 election, and on the January 6th insurrection on Capitol Hill.
He first began posting on a blog titled ‘God Is Loving’ in June 2007 with rambling screeds about religion. He stopped posting for 15 years – then suddenly started again on August 24 this year with racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and crazed entries about the Q-Anon conspiracy theory.
DePape is pictured with the bride, Gypsy Taub, at her wedding to Jaymz Smith in December 2013
Aerial footage showed broken panes and shatter glass at the backdoor of Pelosi’s home
The Pelosis own a four-bedroom San Francisco home that sits in the middle of her congressional district and was purchased in 2007 for $2.2 million but is thought to be worth at least $6 million now
He posted obscene versions of Disney songs from YouTube including one titled: ‘Do you want to **** a snowman?’ He posted a screed containing the n-word, and a post titled ‘This is what a dumb b***h looks like’. Others were titled: ‘Noah survived the collapse of Atlantis’, ‘Pedophile normalization’, ‘Facts are Racist’, ‘Communist Voodoo science’, ‘I’m not sexist’ and ‘Feminist gets owned’.
On a separate blog he set up called Frenly Frens, he wrote unhinged entries on how ‘Jews hate whites’, and several posts about Donald Trump, including one that said: ‘Trump you NEEEEEEEED to make Tulsi your VP in 2024.’
He defended former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty of killing George Floyd.
DePape called Chauvin’s trial ‘a modern lynching’ and falsely indicated that Floyd died of a drug overdose.
He also posted long screeds about religion, including claims that ‘Jesus is the anti christ.’ When DePaper broke into the Pelosis’ home, he was shouting ‘Where is Nancy? Where’s Nancy?’