AOC slams Kevin McCarthy for saying ‘nothing’ about violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for saying “nothing” in the wake of the violent hammer attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

The New York Democrat hit out at her Republican counterpart on social media on Saturday, comparing Mr McCarthy’s silence over the assault on Paul Pelosi to his refusal to take action last year when a GOP lawmaker shared a video of her being assassinated.

“Last year, a GOP Congressman shared a depiction of himself killing me. When the House rose to censure, @GOPLeader defended him,” AOC tweeted on Saturday.

“Yesterday, a man sharing that member’s rhetoric tried to assassinate the Speaker and her spouse. What has @GOPLeader said? Nothing. This is who he is.”

Last November, Rep Paul Gosar posted an anime video on social media that depicted him killing AOC.

He was ultimately censured by the House and stripped of his committee assignments.

But, only two Republicans – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — voted with Democrats in favour of his censure, with Mr McCarthy refusing to support it.

More than 24 hours on from Friday’s attack, the House Minority Leader has failed to publicly address the assault that left 82-year-old Mr Pelosi hospitalised with a skull fracture.

A spokesperson for Mr McCarthy said that he had “reached out to the Speaker to check in on Paul” and was praying for his recovery but he stopped short of condemnation for what happened.

Mr McCarthy’s silence comes after he infamously walked back his criticism of January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

In the hours after the riot that left five dead and hundreds injured, he called it “the saddest day I have ever had serving as a member of this institution. He later voted against forming a bipartisan commission to investigate the riot and branded the House committee investigating it a partisan sham.

Kevin McCarthy has not publicly condemned the attack on Paul Pelosi (Getty Images)
Kevin McCarthy has not publicly condemned the attack on Paul Pelosi (Getty Images)

On Friday, when news of the attack on Mr Pelosi spread, several other high-profile Republicans spoke out to condemn it.

Former Vice President Mike Pence – who was hunted by Donald Trump supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” during the Capitol riot – said the assault was an “outrage”.

“This is an outrage and our hearts are with the entire Pelosi family. ⁦We pray Paul will make a full recovery,” he tweeted.

“There can be no tolerance for violence against public officials or their families. This man should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also condemned the incident saying he was “horrified and disgusted” by what had happened.

David DePape, a 42-year-old hemp jewellery maker, allegedly broke into the Pelosi’s San Francisco home in the early hours of Friday morning searching for the Democratic lawmaker and shouting “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?”

Mr Pelosi was home alone, with his wife away in Washington DC at the time.

Finding the House Speaker missing, Mr DePape allegedly proceeded to try to tie Mr Pelosi up in the aim of waiting until she returned home.

The alarm was raised when Mr Pelosi managed to secretly dial 911 from his cellphone and spoke in “code” to a dispatcher.

The 82-year-old left the line open as he spoke to Mr DePape, enabling the dispatcher to hear what was going on and send officers to the home.

Police tape blocks a street outside the home of Paul and Nancy Pelosi (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Police tape blocks a street outside the home of Paul and Nancy Pelosi (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

When officers arrived on the scene, police said they saw both Mr Pelosi and Mr DePape with their hands on one hammer. At that moment, Mr DePape allegedly pulled the hammer away from Mr Pelosi and “violently assaulted” him with it, striking him at least once.

Mr Pelosi was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery for a skull fracture on Friday. He also suffered “serious injuries” to his right arm and hands and is expected to make a full recovery.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a press conference that the attack was “intentional” and “not a random act”.

While he stopped short of detailing a motive, he referred to Speaker Pelosi’s role as an elected official.

“It’s wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities, their counties, their states and this nation. Their families don’t sign up for this to be harmed and it is wrong,” he said.

Police sources told KTVU that the assailant had a hit list of other lawmakers he planned to target, while a search of his online history reveals a deep-rooted obsession with extreme right-wing conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccine and QAnon. He also revealed his support forMr Trump to run in 2024 with Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate.

Mr DePape was arrested at the scene on charges of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and other felonies.

Mr Pelosi underwent surgery for a fractured skull and is now recovering in hospital.