US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists she was “set up” after she was spotted visiting a San Francisco hair salon in violation of Covid-19 rules, demanding an apology from the business owner while refusing to offer one of her own.

The Democratic rep mounted her defense at an event about school reopenings in San Francisco’s Noe Valley on Wednesday, maintaining that she was led to believe her hair appointment earlier this week would be permitted under the city’s virus guidelines.

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I’ve been to over the years many times when they said we’re able to accommodate people one person at a time,” Pelosi said during a heated exchange with reporters. “It was a set-up, and I take responsibility for falling for a set-up.”

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

Pelosi triggered a wave of controversy this week after Fox News obtained security camera footage of Monday’s salon visit, with critics blasting the Speaker for ignoring Covid-19 restrictions despite her vocal support for business shutdowns amid the pandemic. While San Francisco allowed outdoor salons to reopen on Tuesday, indoor establishments remain closed.

The owner of the salon, Erica Kious, who released the surveillance video to Fox, slammed Pelosi’s visit as a “slap in the face,” as city guidelines force her to keep her business closed. She said the Speaker scheduled the appointment with an independent stylist who rents space in the salon, but was unable to stop it from happening.

Speaker Pelosi, after getting hair done during coronavirus lockdown says it was a “setup” & salon owner owes her an apology.“I said, I said I’m not gonna answer. That’s all I’m gonna do! Do you have any questions about the fact that people are dying?!”

Kious is now reportedly being “forced to shut down and relocate her business and family due to outrage and threats she is receiving,” according to a GoFundMe page set up by Amy Tarkanian, the wife of former Nevada State Senator Danny Tarkanian.

I’ve started a gofundme for Erica to help relocate her biz of 12 yrs & employ others. She has received an outpour of praise & thanks, but also many death threats. She is having others pack up her belongings because she fears returning. #ENOUGH

Pelosi also addressed criticism that she was not wearing a mask in the footage of Monday’s visit, arguing “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 wear a mask,” she said.

US President Donald Trump, whose response to the Covid-19 crisis Pelosi has repeatedly denounced, waded into the controversy on Wednesday, tweeting that the Speaker “is being decimated for having a beauty parlor opened, when all others are closed, and for not wearing a mask – despite constantly lecturing everyone else.”

Republican National Committee spokesperson Liz Harrington also joined in the criticism, blasting Pelosi and the Democratic Party for holding themselves above the very rules they demand for everyone else.

“You can’t get your hair done, eat inside at a restaurant, travel, attend a funeral, or protest without mandatory quarantining. But Democrats can,” Harrington wrote in an email to reporters.

This isn’t about health or science. It’s about power. Democrats want to rule your life. But don’t expect their rules to apply to them.

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