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Nancy Pelosi claims she was 'set-up' after being pictured without mask in closed salon
3 September 2020, 06:00 | Updated: 3 September 2020, 06:33
Nancy Pelosi has claimed her visit to a closed San Francisco hair salon was a "set-up".
The US House Speaker - who has frequently criticised Donald Trump for not wearing a mask in public - was caught on CCTV on 31 August at the establishment wearing her mask round her neck, while walking through the building.
Under rules in the city, salons were only permitted to open the following day, and services could only be provided outdoors.
The footage was given to Fox News, who published the images on Tuesday.
But Pelosi has now branded the visit a "set-up" and added the salon owes her an apology for misrepresenting city health orders.
She said: "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.
"As it turns out, it was a set-up.
"I take responsibility for falling for a set-up."
Her spokesperson also said: "This business offered for the Speaker to come in on Monday and told her they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time in the business.
"The Speaker complied with the rules as presented to her by this establishment."
Mrs Pelosi is facing fierce backlash after the Fox News Channel aired surveillance footage from the salon that showed her walking through the salon with her hair wet and with a mask around her neck rather than on her face.
Critics, including Trump, called her a hypocrite and asked why she did not know the coronavirus-related rules in her home city.
He tweeted on Wednesday, he said: "The Beauty Parlor owner must really dislike Crazy Nancy Pelosi. Turning her in, on tape, is a really big deal.
The Beauty Parlor owner must really dislike Crazy Nancy Pelosi. Turning her in, on tape, is a really big deal. She probably treats him like she treats everyone else...And she strongly supported a Kennedy who just lost in, of all places, Massachusetts!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2020
"She probably treats him like she treats everyone else...And she strongly supported a Kennedy who just lost in, of all places, Massachusetts!"
Trump later added: "We will almost certainly take back the house".
Erica Kious, owner of ESalon SF in the city's Cow Hollow district, told Fox News that she lets chairs to stylists and one of them informed her in advance that Mrs Pelosi wanted a wash and blow dry.
California guidelines on salons vary by county, but stringent San Francisco officials have not yet permitted indoor salons to open.
A reporter asked why she was not wearing a mask in the brief clip.
"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," Mrs Pelosi said.