Donald Trump Jr posts 'Paul Pelosi Halloween costume' image mocking hammer attack on House Speaker's husband
Donald Trump Jr. shared a joke image mocking the attack on Paul Pelosi.
It showed a "Halloween costume" consisting of a hammer and a pair of underpants.
The tweet echoes an unfounded conspiracy theory about Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband.
Donald Trump Jr mocked an attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul by sharing a mock "Halloween costume" themed around it on social media.
He retweeted an image late Sunday night that shows a hammer lying on top of a pair of white underpants with the comment: "Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready."
Trump Jr. wrote: "The internet remains undefeated … Also if you switch out the hammer for a red feather boa you could be Hunter Biden in an instant." He was referring to President Joe Biden's son, who Trump Jr. frequently targets.
Trump Jr. also posted a screenshot of the image to Instagram.
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 31, 2022
San Francisco Police said Paul Pelosi was "violently assaulted" in the couple's California home early on October 28.
Police identified the suspect as 42-year-old David DePape. Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time, police said.
Multiple reports said the suspect shouted "Where is Nancy?" when in the home.
Police said that as they arrived, DePape attacked the Speaker's husband with a hammer, hitting him in the head. Paul Pelosi was hospitalized with a fractured skull and is expected to make a full recovery, Pelosi's office said.
Nancy Pelosi said she and her family were "heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack."
Multiple Democrats said Republicans and right-wing figures regularly sharing conspiracy theories had helped lead to the attack.
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger also said some of his party members had spread baseless election fraud claims that the suspect was "obsessed" with.
Trump Jr. has regularly shared those theories, saying his father's election was stolen.
Fueling conspiracy theories
The inclusion of underwear in Trump Jr,'s post appears to refer to a rumor DePape was in his underwear at the time of the attack.
It is unclear where this claim originates. In one instance, reporter Evan Sernoffsky, of Fox-affiliated local news outlet KTVU, tweeted that this was the case. He then deleted that tweet, and said sources said called it untrue.
It also relates to a burgeoning conspiracy theory that Paul Pelosi and DePape were lovers.
This idea was boosted in an opinion article published by a right-wing apparent local news outlet that, The New York Times noted, has previously published false news and baseless theories.
The article cited a "theory" that the suspect was in his underwear when police arrived, and that Paul Pelosi had brought the suspect back as a male prostitute.
The article then given a boost by Elon Musk, who tweeted — and then deleted — a link to the article, which has since had some corrections.
Despite Sernoffky's correction, as of Monday an article on hard-right website Breitbart continued to repeat the claim DePape was in his underwear during the attack.
San Francisco police have not released a motive for the attack.
DePape's personal blog included posts that endorsed far-right conspiracy theories, including QAnon, as the LA Times reported.
Trump Jr's mention of Hunter Biden also brings attention back to President Joe Biden's scandal-plagued son, whose personal life and business dealings have long been under public scrutiny, and a target for the right.
Prior to his post joking about a Halloween costume, Trump Jr also wrote on both platforms: "Imagine how safe the country would be if democrats took all violent crime as seriously as they're taking the Paul Pelosi situation. They simply don't care about you."
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 29, 2022
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