Joe Biden has said that Paul Pelosi is doing better following an attack at his home – and said it appeared like the assault was intended for his wife Nancy, the Speaker of the House.
The US president made the comments after he described the violent assault as “despicable”, while San Francisco’s police chief said it was “not a random attack”.
Mr Pelosi, 82, is recovering from a skull fracture after he was attacked by an intruder with a hammer on Friday.
The intruder – David DePape – broke into the couple’s home in San Francisco at around 2.30am, reportedly looking for the US house speaker.
Police said officers were called to the house for a “wellbeing check” and arrived to find both men holding the hammer.
They said the suspect then pulled the hammer away from Mr Pelosi and used it to “violently assault” him, before being tackled by officers.
At some point, the suspect searched for the Democrat leader shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?”
The US president was quick to condemn the attack on Mr Pelosi and drew parallels between the attack on the House speaker’s husband and the US Capitol riots.
Speaking at an event in Philadelphia on Friday evening, he said he had earlier spoken to Mrs Pelosi and she reported that her husband was in “good spirits”.
He then addressed reports that the assailant had repeated the “same chant” heard during the 6 January 2021 riots.
“The chant was: ‘Where’s Nancy?'” Mr Biden said, calling it “despicable.”
“There’s too much violence, political violence,” the president added, suggesting that election denialism and claims that COVID-19 was a “hoax” had eroded the political climate.
“Every person of good conscience needs to clearly and unambiguously stand up against the violence in our politics, regardless of what your politics are,” he said.
‘Not a random act’
Meanwhile, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told a news conference on Friday night that the attack on Mr Pelosi at their San Francisco home was “intentional”.
He said: “This was not a random act. This was intentional. And it’s wrong.”
Mr Scott declined to comment further on a possible motive for the assault and said the investigation was ongoing.
Mr Pelosi was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and severe injuries to his right arm and hands, a spokesperson said.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Posts about QAnon
DePape, 42, has been charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several other felony charges.
His motive has not yet been made clear.
The suspect appears to have made racist and often rambling posts online, including some that echoed QAnon conspiracy theories, according to initial investigations.
His posts also questioned the results of the 2020 election and defended former president Donald Trump.
The attack is being investigated by San Francisco police, Capitol Police, and the FBI.
It comes amid growing concern about the safety of America’s politicians almost two years after the Capitol insurrection in January 2021, when Mrs Pelosi’s office was ransacked.