Paul Pelosi sex worker conspiracy theory a ‘deliberate smear’
Conspiracy theories around the brutal attack on the husband of United States house speaker Nancy Pelosi have been slammed as “insane and deranged”.
On Friday morning, Paul Pelosi, 82, was bashed with a hammer at the couple’s residence in the Pacific Heights neighbourhood of San Francisco.
A federal criminal complaint says the man demanded to confront Ms Pelosi and “break her knee caps” if she lied under his questioning.
“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop,” Ms Pelosi said.
“We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services, and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.’
The alleged attacker, 42 year old David Wayne DePape, has been charged with assault, attempted murder and kidnapping.
Whilst key Republican figures, including Donald Trump, have condemned the attack, there have been others who have help spread an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting Mr Pelosi’s attacker was a sex worker.
To his 8.7 million Twitter followers, Donald Trump Jr shared an image of a hammer and a pair of underwear that had the caption ‘got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready.’
Republican politician Clay Higgins tweeted (and then deleted) a post that referred to the attacker as a “nudist hippie male prostitute”.
Elon Musk also deleted a tweet pushing the unfounded conspiracy theory.
“It’s hard to fathom the kind of mind … that decides to traffic in this filth,” said CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“Words fail… I mean, what is wrong with these people?
“Sadly, in this era of social media. After every tragedy like this, we unfortunately see some awful reactions.”
San Francisco Police have addressed the rumours, saying they have found no truth to them whatsoever.
“There is absolutely no evidence that Mr Pelosi knew this man. In matter of fact, the evidence indicates the exact opposite,” said Chief William Scott.