WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was “violently assaulted” early Friday morning by an assailant who broke into their home in San Francisco, according to a statement from her office.
The suspect, who was taken into custody, attacked Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer, two people briefed on the incident told NBC News.
“Early this morning, an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted Mr. Pelosi,” the California Democrat’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said. “The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation.”
“Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery,” Hammill continued.
San Francisco police responded to the scene just before 2:30 a.m. PT, tweeted Sgt. Adam Lobsinger, who said the chief of police, William Scott, would address the media.
The House speaker was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack, according to her office. U.S. Capitol Police said in a separate statement that Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., with her protective detail at the time of the break-in.
Hammill said Pelosi “and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time.” The statement didn’t provide any details on how the suspect broke into their home or what injuries Pelosi’s husband might have sustained.
U.S. Capitol Police said it is assisting the FBI and San Francisco police with a joint investigation into the home invasion and said the “motivation for the attack is still under investigation.” The agency also said special agents in its California field office “quickly arrived on the scene while a team of investigators from the department’s threat assessment section was simultaneously dispatched from the East Coast.”
President Joe Biden called the speaker Friday morning to “express his support,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The president continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected,” she said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement that he also spoke with the House speaker, saying he “conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family.”
It’s unclear what the motivation was for the break-in and assault, though national leaders have warned of the potential for political violence, especially with the 2022 midterm elections less than two weeks away.
Several lawmakers reacted to the incident, including Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who tweeted that she’s glad Pelosi’s husband is safe. “While the motive is still unknown we know where this kind of violence is sanctioned and modeled,” she said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeted, “I wish Mr Pelosi well & pray for a quick recovery Everyone deserves 2b respected & violence is never okay.”
“I’m hoping and praying Paul Pelosi is ok. I’m outraged the Speaker and her family are going through this. This is cowardly, disgusting, and disgraceful,” tweeted Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.
In August, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said a man called his office, repeating homophobic slurs and threatening to shoot and kill the congressman.
Swalwell, who has previously tweeted about threats to his office, wrote: “Bloodshed is coming.”
Pelosi’s home was vandalized in Jan. 2021, just a few days before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, as was the home of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Pelosi’s garage door was defaced with phrases including “$2K,” “Cancel rent!” and “We want everything!” This came several days after Congress failed to approve a measure to increase coronavirus stimulus checks to $2,000.
Jonathan Dienst and Haley Talbot contributed.