American speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and her family were “heartbroken and traumatised” after a “violent man” broke into her San Francisco home and attacked her husband.
Paul Pelosi, 82, is recovering from a fractured skull after being hit with a hammer by an intruder on Friday.
The Democrat broke her silence on the attack with a statement on Sunday, saying her husband’s condition “continues to improve.”
She said: “Unfortunately a violent man broke into our family home yesterday morning, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul.
“Our children, grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the potentially fatal attack on our Pop. We are grateful for the quick response from law enforcement and emergency services and for the medical care vitals he receives.”
The intruder – David DePape – broke into the couple’s San Francisco home around 2.30am, apparently looking for the American house speaker.
Police said officers were called to the home for a ‘wellness check’ and arrived to find the two men holding the gavel.
They said the suspect then removed Mr Pelosi’s hammer and used it to ‘violently assault’ him, before being attacked by officers.
At one point, the suspect looked for the Democratic leader, shouting, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told a press conference on Friday night that the attack on Mr Pelosi at their San Francisco home was “intentional”.
He said, “It wasn’t a random act. It was intentional. And that’s wrong.”
Mr Scott declined to comment further on a possible motive for the assault and said the investigation was ongoing.
Earlier, the US president echoed the police chief’s comments, saying it appeared the assault was aimed at the US home speaker.
He was quick to condemn the attack on Mr Pelosi, calling it “despicable”, and drew parallels between the attack on the Speaker’s husband and the United States Capitol Riots.
Speaking at an event in Philadelphia on Friday night, he referred to reports that the attacker repeated the “same chant” heard during the January 6, 2021 riots.
“The chant was, ‘Where’s Nancy? ‘” Mr Biden said, calling him “despicable”.
“There is too much violence, political violence,” the president added, suggesting that election denial and claims that COVID-19 was a “hoax” had eroded the political climate.
“Every person of good conscience must speak out clearly and unambiguously against violence in our politics, whatever your politics,” he said.
DePape, 42, has been charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several other felony charges.
His motive has not yet been clarified.
Mr Pelosi was rushed to hospital and underwent surgery for a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, a spokesman said.
He is expected to make a full recovery.