Trump calls Nancy Pelosi an 'animal' as she ponders political future

Assault on House speaker's husband Paul Pelosi has 'affected' plans about her next steps

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Donald Trump called US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an “animal” after she voiced frustration over how the former president and other Republicans have questioned the brutal assault on her husband at the couple's home.

Speaking to CNN on Monday, Ms Pelosi said her husband Paul Pelosi was “doing OK” after a man broke into their San Francisco, California, residence on October 28 and attacked him with a hammer.

Ms Pelosi said that the intruder's hammer “had not pierced” Mr Pelosi's brain. Still, he needed surgery on his skull and treatment for injuries to his hands and arm.

Ms Pelosi became emotional when speaking about how the attacker intended to kidnap her and “break her kneecaps” but instead hurt her husband after discovering that she was not home.

She condemned political misinformation that may have influenced the attack, including from Mr Trump, who has suggested the event was staged.

“For me, this is really the hard part because Paul was not the target and he’s the one who is paying the price,” she said.

“[The attacker] was not looking for Paul — he was looking for me.”

Other Republicans have spread conspiracy theories about the attack or else remained silent, even as political violence across the US is on the ascent.

Former US president Donald Trump speaks during a 'Save America' rally in Vandalia, Ohio. Bloomberg

After her comments were broadcast, Mr Trump called Ms Pelosi “an animal” during a pre-election day rally in Ohio.

“They’ll say: ‘What a horrible thing he said about Nancy.’ She impeached me twice for nothing.”

The House speaker said that it hurt to see her congressional colleagues and Republican midterm election candidates be slow to denounce the attack but quick to spread conspiracy theories.

“You see what the reaction is on the other side to this, to make a joke of it, and really that is traumatising, too,” she said.

Ms Pelosi, whose Democrats are widely expected to lose control of the House of Representatives, is pondering her political future. She said the attack on her husband weighed into those considerations.

“I have to say my decision will be affected about what happened the last week or two,” she said.

She has represented California's San Francisco congressional district for 35 years and led the House as speaker from 2007-2011 and again beginning in 2019.

Younger Democrats have long called on the 82-year-old Ms Pelosi to find a successor to lead the party in the House.

Updated: November 08, 2022, 9:16 PM
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