Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for saying “nothing” after the violent hammer attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
The New York Democrat hit out at her Republican counterpart on social media on Saturday, comparing Mr McCarthy’s silence on the attack on Paul Pelosi to his refusal to act last year when a Republican lawmaker shared a video of her killing .
“Last year, a GOP congressman shared a video of himself killing me. When Parliament proceeded to censure, @GOPLeader defended him,” the AOC tweeted on Saturday.
“Yesterday, a man who shares this member’s rhetoric attempted to assassinate the President and her wife. What’s the matter with him @GOPLeader he said? Nothing. That’s him”.
Last November, representative Paul Gosar posted an anime video on social media that depicted him killing AOC.
He was eventually convicted by Parliament and stripped of his commissions.
But only two Republicans – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – voted with Democrats to impeach him, with Mr McCarthy refusing to support it.
More than 24 hours after Friday’s attack, the House minority leader has not publicly addressed the attack that left Mr. Pelosi, 82, hospitalized with a fractured skull.
A spokesman for Mr McCarthy said he had “reached out to the speaker to check on Paul” and was praying for his recovery, but stopped short of condemning what happened.
Mr McCarthy’s silence comes after he infamously dismissed his criticism of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
In the hours after the riot that left five dead and hundreds injured, he called it “the saddest day I have ever had serving as a member of this institution. He later voted against forming a bipartisan commission to investigate the riot and called the House committee investigating it a partisan sham.
On Friday, as news of the attack on Mr. Pelosi spread, several other high-profile Republicans spoke out to condemn it.
Former Vice President Mike Pence – who was chased by Donald Trump supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” during the Capitol riot – said the attack was an “outrage”.
“This is an outrage and our hearts go out to the entire Pelosi family. We pray that Paul makes a full recovery,” he tweeted.
“There can be no tolerance for violence against public servants or their families. This man should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also condemned the incident, saying he was “horrified and disgusted” by what had happened.
David DePape, a 42-year-old cannabis jewelry maker, allegedly broke into Pelosi’s San Francisco home in the early hours of Friday morning looking for the Democratic congressman and yelling “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?’
Mr. Pelosi was home alone, with his wife away in Washington at the time.
Finding that the Speaker of the House was missing, Mr. DePape reportedly tried to tie up Mr. Pelosi in order to wait until he returned home.
The alarm was raised when Pelosi managed to secretly call 911 from his cell phone and spoke in “code” to a dispatcher.
The 82-year-old left the line open as he spoke to Mr DePape, allowing the dispatcher to hear what was going on and send officers to the home.
When officers arrived at the scene, police said they saw Mr. Pelosi and Mr. Depp with their hands on a hammer. At that point, Mr. DePape allegedly pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and “violently assaulted” him with it, striking him at least once.
Pelosi was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery for a fractured skull on Friday. He also suffered “serious injuries” to his right arm and hands and is expected to make a full recovery.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said at a press conference that the attack was “intentional” and “not a random act.”
While he stopped short of detailing a motive, he referred to Speaker Pelosi’s role as an elected official.
“It’s wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the jobs of their cities, their counties, their states and this nation. Their families don’t sign up for that and it’s wrong,” he said.
Police sources said KTVU that the attacker had a hit list of other lawmakers he planned to target, while a search of his online history reveals a deep-seated obsession with far-right conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccine and QAnon. He also revealed his support for Mr. Trump to run in 2024 with Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate.
Mr. DePape was arrested at the scene on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and other felonies.
Pelosi underwent surgery for a fractured skull and is now recovering in hospital.