The hair stylist who helped Nancy Pelosi defy coronavirus restrictions to get coiffed stands by the House Speaker, claiming the salon owner approved the appointment and released the tape to snare the top Democrat in a “set up.”

With San Francisco still under some coronavirus lockdown measures, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caused a public outcry this week when security camera footage surfaced showing her having a private hair appointment in a salon in the city. Pelosi, a vocal proponent of business shutdowns, did not apologize for breaking lockdown rules, and instead demanded that the salon owner apologize for leaking the tapes to Fox News in what she described as “clearly a set up.”

Pelosi’s stylist stands by his client. Cosmetologist Jonathan DeNardo confirmed on Wednesday that he did indeed style Pelosi’s hair, and had been authorized by the salon owner, Erica Kious, to do so. In a statement released by his lawyers, DeNardo claimed that Kious “made several vitriolic and incendiary comments about Speaker Pelosi,” before authorizing the appointment.

After the session, DeNardo said that Kious released the footage to Fox News to “set up” Pelosi, as she blamed the speaker for the closure of her business. “It appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations,” the statement read.

Kious insists that she was not involved in any kind of setup, and that she was unable to stop DeNardo from scheduling the appointment. Kious owns the salon, but sublets space to stylists like DeNardo.

As well as implicating Kious in the ‘setup’, DeNardo claimed on Wednesday that the salon owner was herself breaching lockdown rules since April, seeing customers and operating her business as usual while “ignoring social distancing guidelines” and stay-at-home orders.

The cosmetologist said that his “name has now been dragged through the mud for simply following Ms. Kious’ recommendations.”

Regardless of Kious’ “aspirations,” the ‘hairgate’ tapes have been a source of embarrassment for Pelosi; not just because she violated lockdown rules, but because she also opted to forego wearing a face mask while doing so. Back in July, Pelosi mandated a mask policy on Capitol Hill, and earlier called a nationwide mask order “long overdue.” 

However, her insistence that Kious owes her an apology drew the most mockery and vitriol online, with Donald Trump Jr. labelling her “the Marie Antoinette of the 21st-century.” Other conservative commentators slammed Pelosi for hypocrisy, with one calling her the epitome of “privileged unconcern.”

Nancy Pelosi is the Marie Antoinette of the 21st-century.

The news that Nancy Pelosi visited a San Francisco hair salon, against standing city ordinances, is the latest exhibition of privileged unconcern.

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