The White House began its press briefing on Thursday by playing a video loop of house Speaker Nany Pelosi's visit to a San Francisco salon despite local ordinances restricting such operations. The footage was leaked earlier this week to Fox News by salon owner Erica Kious, with White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany opening Thursday's briefing by condemning the visit.
.@PressSec Kayleigh McEnany: "We found Nancy Pelosi going into her hair salon. We will be playing the video on loop for all of you to see during the duration of this introduction...Apparently the rules do not apply to Speaker Nancy Pelosi."September 3, 2020
"Two briefings ago I asked: 'Where is Nancy Pelosi?' Today, I can announce: We have found Nancy Pelosi. As you can see, we found Nancy Pelosi going into her hair salon. We will be playing the video on loop for all of you to see during the duration of this introduction," McEnany began the briefing, going on to criticize Pelosi amid stalled stimulus relief bill negotiations.
McEnany said that Pelosi "was not in the halls of Congress when I asked where she was. She was not working in good faith to make a deal for the American people." Instead, the House Speaker "was found in San Francisco, at a hair salon, where she was indoors, even though salons in California are [...] only open for outdoor service." McEnany said that the video seemed to suggest that "the rules do not apply to Speaker Nancy Pelosi," who "wants small businesses to stay shut down but only reopen for her convenience."
The press secretary went on to accuse Pelosi of "holding up" further stimulus relief legislation by refusing to reach a deal with the Trump administration, all while "getting special access to the very kind of small businesses that this money would support." McEnany praised President Donald Trump for seeing "through Democrats' disregard for Americans in need" by signing an executive order after negotiations collapsed.
McEnany also condemned Pelosi for suggesting that the visit was a "setup," a claim that has been supported by the stylist she met with but denied by Kious, whom the press secretary defended as "a single mother and small-business owner who has received threats." She added that Pelosi "ought to apologize to the American people, or better yet, come back to Washington and get to work for hardworking Americans like this salon owner that you maligned and demanded an apology from."
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!). Does anyone want a Speaker of the House who can be so easily SET UP?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
Shortly after that press briefing, Trump, who first responded to the video by citing a need to vote Pelosi and other Democrats out of office, criticized Pelosi again on Twitter. He dubbed her "Crazy Nancy Pelosi" and accused her of forcing the salon to "improperly" open. According to the stylist, despite the local ordinances, the salon had been operating since April.