Politico correspondent Adam Wren accused prominent conservative figures Monday of pushing “baseless claims” about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi, though his own publication reported some of those claims just days prior.
Wren’s piece stated that despite Republican leaders condemning the act, conservatives such as Donald Trump Jr. and Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., were sharing “online disinformation” about the attack against Pelosi in the couple’s San Francisco home on Friday.
“Among those baseless claims: that a third person answered the door when police arrived at the Pelosi home, which San Francisco law enforcement has said is untrue; and that DePape was in his underwear when apprehended, a falsehood taken from a since-corrected local news report,” Wren wrote.
However, Politico’s Jeremy B. White and Nicholas Wu originally reported the claim of a third “unknown person” answering the door of the home in their coverage of the story on Friday.
“David DePape forced his way into the home through a back entrance, [San Francisco Police Chief Bill] Scott said. Officers arrived at the house, knocked on the front door and were let inside by an unknown person. They discovered DePape and Pelosi struggling for a hammer, and after they instructed them to drop the weapon, Scott said, DePape took the hammer and ‘violently attacked’ Pelosi,” White and Wu wrote on Friday.
Wren’s article quickly received backlash as many called out the publication for attacking conservatives for something it originally reported.
“Seriously WTF,” The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller tweeted, comparing both articles side by side.
Washington Examiner columnist Becket Adams joked, “modern journalism is just so, so wild.”
“I understand there are many bad actors out there, but the false report of an unnamed third person who opened the door—something implied in the @politico article and explicitly reported on Meet the Press—did a lot to fuel the conspiracy theories,” National Review correspondent John McCormack tweeted.
Conservative commentator Rita Panahi wrote, “Hahahahaha! @politico losing track of the official narrative.”
“Politico on Friday: An unknown person let officers in to Paul Pelosi’s house. Politico on Monday: Conspiracy theorists are saying an unknown person let officers in to Paul Pelosi’s house,” The Daily Wire’s Cabot Phillips remarked.
Politico later updated White and Wu’s original article with a clarification noting that the claim about an unknown person at Paul Pelosi’s house was altered after publication.
“CLARIFICATION: This report has been updated to clarify that according to the San Francisco Police Department and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, there were only two people inside the Pelosi home when police arrived early Friday morning, Paul Pelosi and the suspect, David DePape. The police chief had stated on Friday that officers arrived at the house and entered through the front door, which someone — he didn’t specify who — opened from the inside,” the correction read.
The article now reads: “David DePape forced his way into the home through a back entrance, Scott said. The police chief said Friday that officers arrived at the house and entered through the front door, which someone — they didn’t specify who — opened from the inside. They discovered DePape and Pelosi struggling in the entryway for a hammer, and after they instructed them to drop the weapon, Scott said, DePape took the hammer and ‘violently attacked’ Pelosi.”
Democratic figures immediately began blaming GOP rhetoric for the attack against the spouse of a political figure. Though many have claimed this was a political attack, reports have suggested that the suspect, 42-year-old David DePape, was “mentally ill.”