Nancy Pelosi's 'setup' claim criticized by Don Lemon, CNN host asks 'shouldn't she know better?' in rare rebuke

The California Democrat's visit to a hair salon came under the scanner after she was seen walking around with wet hair but without a mask in surveillance footage

                            Nancy Pelosi's 'setup' claim criticized by Don Lemon, CNN host asks 'shouldn't she know better?' in rare rebuke
(Getty Images)

CNN star Don Lemon raised eyebrows as he offered a rare rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she came under fire for visiting a San Francisco hair salon on Monday and violating coronavirus ordinances amid the pandemic.

The California Democrat was caught on surveillance footage, obtained by Fox News, walking through ESalonSF with wet hair and without a mask. During an appearance on MSNBC later that day, Pelosi chastised President Donald J. Trump for giving his Republican National Convention acceptance speech before a live audience at the White House.


After the video surfaced, the top Democratic lawmaker proceeded to accuse the salon of "setting her up" and demanded an apology from the struggling business. But CNN anchor Lemon appeared to question Pelosi's claims and asked viewers "shouldn't she know better?"

"This far into the pandemic this House Speaker should know what is safe and what isn't," Lemon said. "We should all know. It's our responsibility."

"Instead of claiming a setup, it would have been just as easy for the speaker to say, 'You know what, I messed up. I should have worn a mask indoors.'" he added.

Don Lemon attends The Paley Honors: A Gala Tribute To LGBTQ at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on May 15, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images)

President Donald J. Trump did not miss the opportunity to take aim at the House Speaker amid the storm. "Crazy Nancy Pelosi is being decimated for having a beauty parlor opened when all others are closed, and for not wearing a Mask – despite constantly lecturing everyone else," Trump tweeted. "We will almost certainly take back the House, and send Nancy packing!"


The salon based in San Francisco is owned by Erica Kious. Earlier in the day, we reported how Kious explained in a phone interview with Fox News that she had independent stylists working for her, who also rent chairs in her salon to provide the service.

“We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down," she told the network. "I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen. I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.” She added: “The fact that they did this, and she came in, it’s like a slap in the face.”

Commenting on America’s most powerful woman visiting her salon and getting caught on camera, she said, “To be honest it was more hurtful. She’s been coming in for quite a while and just to see her come in and not wear a mask is what got to me.” She further noted that if Pelosi can come in without a mask why can’t she have regular customers or why are the establishments asked to be shut down.  

When asked if she would continue to stay in San Francisco, Kious revealed that she’s been receiving “hate messages” and “death threats” ever since Pelosi came under fire for visiting her salon. “It’s sad that my community is pulling this and saying I threw her under the bus when I didn’t," she bemoaned. "I think I am pretty much done there.”

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