The owner of a San Francisco hair salon visited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week denied what she called the Democrat's "absolutely false" accusation that she had been the victim of a “setup”.
ESalonSF owner Erica Kious told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday that Pelosi was serviced by an independent stylist who rents chairs in her salon. Kious said she decided to share the now-viral security camera footage when she found the Speaker indoors without a mask in what she called a "hurtful" display of hypocrisy.
Kious spoke to host Tucker Carlson hours after Pelosi addressed the backlash, claiming that she had frequented the salon “over the years many times," and demanding an apology from the owner " for setting me up.”
"There was no way I could've set that up," Kious fired back. "I've had a camera system in there for five years. I mean, I didn't go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that is absolutely false."
Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and could only reopen for outdoor hairstyling services on Sept. 1. Pelosi said she understood that coronavirus restrictions allowed for a one-on-one appointment indoors.
"I heard that," Kious told Carlson, "and I thought to myself, 'Well as a hairstylist, I see clients one-on-one. So, that would mean that I would be open, right?'"
Kious said she had no intention of making a political statement by releasing the footage, but emphasized that Pelosi's cavalier appearance in her salon "was more hurtful" than anything else.
"This isn't even political," she stressed. "She's been coming in there ... it's the fact that she actually came in, didn't have a mask on, and I just thought about my staff and people not being able to work and make money and provide for their families, and if she is in there comfortably without a mask and feeling safe, then why are we shut down? Why am I not able to have clients come in?"
Kious, a single mother of two children, said she has received several threats since Pelosi's comments earlier Wednesday, and will likely be forced to leave the community she's serviced for 12 years.
"Since this has happened, I have received nothing but hate text messages, death threats, [saying that] they're going to burn my hair salon down," she said. " My Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews.
"It's just sad that my community is pulling this ... saying that I threw her under the bus when I didn't," Kious said. "So that's hurtful, but yeah, I think I'm pretty much done now."