"I take responsibility for falling for a setup," the House speaker said during a press conference Wednesday

By Ashley Boucher
September 02, 2020 07:50 PM
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Nancy Pelosi
| Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi said that her visit to a hair salon in San Francisco this week was a "setup."

Speaking to reporters during a press conference Wednesday, Pelosi, 80, addressed the salon visit, saying that she accepted responsibility, but believes the salon should apologize for misleading her, ABC News reported.

"I take responsibility for trusting the word of the 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 can set up that time, I trusted that," Pelosi said.

"As it turns out, that was the setup," she continued. "So, I take responsibility for falling for a setup. And that's all I'm going to say on that."

"I think that this salon owes me an apology, for setting me up," Pelosi added.

"There's more to this that I'm not going into as to the motivation of a salon to say to me, 'Yes come in' ... it was clearly a setup. I take responsibility for falling for a setup," Pelosi continued later in the press conference, as reported by ABC News. "I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I’ve been to for years."

Earlier on Monday, Pelosi drew backlash after she was captured in security footage obtained by Fox News at eSalonSF with her mask below her chin, as PEOPLE previously reported.

The footage was reportedly timestamped Monday at 3:08 p.m., which is one day before salons in the city were allowed to reopen for outdoor hairstyling services, according to guidelines from the city's Department of Public Health.

Nancy Pelosi
| Credit: Fox news

Erica Kious, the salon's owner, told Fox News that a hairstylist who rents a chair at eSalonSF contacted her on Sunday night saying that Pelosi wanted to come in for an appointment.

While it was unclear why Kious allowed the appointment, she told Fox News that she "can’t control” the independent stylists who rent space in the salon.

"We have been shut down for so long," Kious told Fox News, adding that it was "a slap in the face" to allow Pelosi to receive such services while other businesses remain closed.

She told Fox News: "I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?”

(A representative for eSalonSF did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment; the salon shares a nearly identical name with an unrelated hair coloring service, eSalon.)

A lawyer for Pelosi's stylist, Jonathan DeNardo, said in a statement on Wednesday that DeNardo "took all requisite safety measures throughout his appointment with Speaker Pelosi, including sanitation of all service areas and wearing of CDC-recommended protective equipment."

He said he "received advance approval [for Pelosi's appointment] from Ms. Kious the day prior to the appointment," but he said that while he and Kious were discussing it she "made several vitriolic and incendiary comments."

Nancy Pelosi
| Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty

"The fact that Ms. Kious is now objecting to Speaker Pelosi’s presence at eSalon, and from a simple surface-level review of Ms. Kious’ political leanings, it appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations," DeNardo's lawyer said.

Pelosi's spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement that she only briefly took her mask off while her hair was being washed.

"The Speaker always wears a mask and complies with local COVID requirements. This business offered for the Speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business," Hamill said. "The Speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment."

• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON

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