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Joe Biden condemns ‘despicable’ hammer assault on Nancy Pelosi’s husband as police say it was focused

Paul Pelosi, the husband of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is recovering from surgery after he was attacked by a hammer-wielding intruder at the couple’s home in San Francisco.

Mr Pelosi, 82, suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands. He is “receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery,” spokesman Drew Hammill said.

The attack on the spouse of the third-most senior politician in the United States has sparked concerns about political violence ahead of the midterm elections on 8 November.

The suspect, David Depape, 42, is said to have tried to tie Mr Pelosi up and demanded to know “where’s Nancy?”, according to reports.

US President Joe Biden described the attack as “despicable” and denounced a corrosive political climate for contributing to violence. “Enough is enough is enough,” he said during a speech in Philadelphia. “Every person of good conscience needs to clearly and unambiguously stand up against the violence in our politics, regardless of what your politics are.”

In the hours following the attack, the US government put out a bulletin to law enforcement across the nation warning of a “heightened threat” of domestic violent extremism against candidates and election workers driven by individuals with “ideological grievances”.

The attack on Mr Pelosi is being treated as attempted murder. A motive has not yet been fully determined, but San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said the attack was “intentional” and not random.

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Mrs Pelosi – who was on the other side of the country in Washington DC at the time of the assault – flew back to see her husband in hospital.

A spokesman for the senior Democrat said Mr Pelosi had been attacked in the early hours of Friday morning “by an assailant who acted with force, and threatened his life while demanding to see the Speaker”.

San Francisco Police are leading the investigation and are working with the FBI and US Capitol Police.

Ms Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat in Congress, was in Washington at the time of the assault, according to US Capitol Police.

The suspected attacker has espoused extreme right-wing views on social media, including conspiracy theories about Covid-19, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing law-enforcement officials.

He also allegedly posted videos from Donald Trump ally and MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, as well as theories on the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

DePape also posted links to YouTube videos with titles like “Democrat FARCE Commission to Investigate January 6th Capitol Riot COLLAPSES in Congress!!!” and “Global Elites Plan To Take Control Of YOUR Money! (Revealed)”.

Politicians from both sides of the political divide have condemned the attack.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow Democrat, said in a statement: “What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act.

“I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said he was “horrified and disgusted” by the attack on Mr Pelosi.

He tweeted: “Grateful to hear that Paul is on track to make a full recovery and that law enforcement including our stellar Capitol Police are on the case.”

The White House said President Joe Biden was “praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family”.

There is mounting concern about the safety of politicians in the US almost two years after a mob of pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in January, 2021.

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