Updated Nov 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: Retirement plans will be impacted by attack on husband

Photo of Nancy Pelosi looking down while speaking from a podium

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pauses while speaking during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on Sept. 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a new interview with CNN that the recent attack on her husband will impact her decision on whether to retire.

Why it matters: The attack of Paul Pelosi at the couple's San Francisco home in late October has increased alarm about Congress members' personal security amid a broader rise in threats against prominent political figures.

  • Nancy Pelosi, 82, promised in 2018 to step down at the end of this term, a vow that has spurred younger Democrats to position themselves for leadership roles.
  • She has remained tight-lipped about her future plans, however, and declined to rule out running for leadership again.
  • Top congressional officials have told Axios that Pelosi is not likely to stay on as minority leader if Democrats lose control of the chamber in the midterm elections.

What she's saying: "I have to say my decision will be affected" by the events of the last couple weeks, Pelosi told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in her first sit-down interview since the attack that is expected to air in full Monday evening. When asked if that included the attack, she answered, "Yes."

  • "I was sleeping in Washington, D.C., I had just gotten in the night before from San Francisco, and I hear the doorbell ring and think, it’s five something, I look up I see it’s five, it must be the wrong apartment. No. It rings again and then bang, bang, bang, bang, bang on the door," she said, describing the night she found out.
  • "So I run to the door and I was very scared, I see the Capitol Police, and they said we have to come in to talk to you."
  • "At that time we didn’t even know where he was or what his condition was, we just knew there was an assault on him in our home," she added.

Details: The alleged assailant, David Wayne DePape, 42, was charged by the state of California with attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse, while the Department of Justice charged him with assault of an immediate family member of a U.S. official and attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official.

The big picture: The assailant was looking for the speaker when he broke into their home, shouting, "Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?"

Go deeper... Nancy Pelosi: "Paul was not the target, but he's paying the price"

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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