The owner of the San Francisco salon Nancy Pelosi recently visited apparently going around the applying coronavirus restrictions has called out the House Speaker in an emotional address.
Erica Kious struggled to hold back tears as she vehemently denied Pelosi's claim that the incident at E SalonSF was a setup, after a surveillance video surfaced on Tuesday showing the 80-year-old politician roaming the salon in a bathrobe and with no mask on, shortly after city beauty salons were permitted to reopen to the public on 1 September solely to provide outdoor services.
"For the Speaker of the House to go on TV and falsely claim she was set up and publicly defame me, and sent out PR firms ... in support of the Speaker’s own lies is bad enough", Kious said. "But for Speaker Pelosi to frame herself as a victim under a totally false narrative while small businesses and workers all over California – the state she represents in Congress – suffer and struggle just to survive is beyond shameful".
The business owner appeared to be particularly enraged by Pelosi's claim that it was she who was owed an apology for being, as she put it after the video surfaced, "set up".
"I don't owe anyone an apology", Kious said. "Mrs Pelosi owes the entire country an apology. If America goes in front of Congress and lies, they go to jail. But apparently, when the most powerful woman in the world lies to America, we owe her an apology", the frustrated salon owner, who rents out chairs to stylists, charged.
She detailed that one of them had earlier informed her that Pelosi wanted a wash and blow-dry, adding that she personally viewed Pelosi getting her hair done as "a slap in the face" to struggling business owners.
Pelosi has so far refused to shoulder responsibility for getting the illicit VIP treatment.
"I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighbourhood salon that I've been to over the years many times, and that when they said ... we're able to accommodate people, one person at a time, and that we can set up that time, I trusted that", Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. "As it turns out, it was a set up".
"I take responsibility for falling for a set up", she said.
When asked why she was not wearing a mask in the brief clip, Pelosi struck back:
"I just had my hair washed. I don't wear a mask when I'm washing my hair. Do you wear a mask when you're washing your hair? I always have a mask", Pelosi said.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany played the salon footage of Pelosi as she said the House Speaker "ought to apologise" to Americans.
"Nancy 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", McEnany said during a White House briefing. "Nope, Nancy Pelosi was found in San Francisco, at a hair salon, where she was indoors, even though salons in California are only open for outdoor service".
Matthew Soleimanpour, an attorney for Jonathan DeNardo, a stylist who did Pelosi's hair, said his client had received permission from the salon owner a day earlier to make the appointment.
"It appears Ms Kious is furthering a set up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations", Soleimanpour said in a statement, with Kious denying the claims about the staging of the "set up".
Hours after the news and the fiery exchanges, protesters gathered outside Pelosi's house in the posh Pacific Heights section of the city, where they put blowdryers and hair curlers on a tree.
One of the demonstrators described themselves as "angry salon customers who want to get their hair and nails done", a Fox News report has it, as multiple videos from the protest popped up on social media.