The husband of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been “violently assaulted” in their home in San Francisco, her office has said.
A spokesman for the number 3 US politician said the attack took place on Friday morning, October 28 and the assailant is now in custody, adding that Paul Pelosi is receiving “excellent” medical care. The motives behind the assault remain unclear.
“The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement.
“The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time.”
According to the Associated Press news agency, the attacker specifically targeted the Pelosis’ home and assaulted Paul Pelosi with a hammer, adding that the House speaker’s husband suffered “blunt force injuries to his head and body”.
The White House said later on Friday that President Joe Biden called Pelosi after the “horrible attack”.
“The president is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“This morning he called Speaker Pelosi to express his support after this horrible attack. He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The president continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also said he spoke with Pelosi to convey his “deepest concern and heartfelt wishes” and called the assault a “dastardly act”.
The attack comes less than two weeks ahead of the crucial November 8 midterm elections in which control of Congress, including the speakership of the House of Representatives, is up for grabs.