During press briefing, McEnany plays video loop of Pelosi getting a blowout
House speaker says she was victim of 'setup' by salon owner
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany took a dig at Nancy Pelosi Thursday over the viral video of the House Speaker inside a San Francisco hair salon without a mask, in apparent violation of city ordinances on the pandemic.
"Nancy Pelosi is holding up $1.3 trillion in relief for the American people, while getting special access to the very kind of small businesses that this money would support," McEnany said in the White House press briefing room.
She spoke one day after Pelosi claimed that she was "set up" by going into the salon under what she thought were permissible conditions.
The city's health-safety ordinances had kept San Francisco hair salons closed since March. However, some are now allowed to reopen for outdoor services — including haircuts but not shampoo and coloring treatments.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, appears in the video to have gotten a shampoo inside the salon.
"As it turns out, it was a setup, and I take responsibility for falling for a setup," she said. "I think that this salon owes me an apology, for setting me up."
McEnany on Thursday also read a comment from the salon owner, a single mother of two named Erica Kious, who said she has been facing an onslaught of hatred since the speaker accused her of staging a sting operation.
"Since this happened, I've received nothing but hate text messages, death threats saying they're going to burn down my hair salon. It's just sad that my community is pulling this, saying that I threw her under the bus when I didn't, so that's hurtful," said Kious.
Kious said Wednesday night on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that Pelosi has been coming to the salon "for quite a while." However, she questioned why Pelosi can be inside the salon "comfortably without a mask and feeling safe" while salons are shut down.
Kious says her business has suffered perhaps fatally due to the ongoing shutdown.
"We're pretty much done," she said. "Six months is a long time to be closed down."
She also says her Yelp page is laden with derogatory and hateful comments by people who believe she is to blame for the media scrutiny surrounding Pelosi's actions.
A friend of Kious's recently launched a GoFundMe page to assist the eSalon owner with debts incurred by her business during the shutdown and the cost of relocating her business to a new location.