GoFundMe for Pelosi's Salon Owner Hits Quarter Million Dollars
Donations flood in for Erica Kious as campaign goes viral
A GoFundMe campaign for the salon owner at the center of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's blow-out scandal, Erica Kious, has raised a quarter of a million dollars in donations after the campaign went viral.
Kious and her San Francisco salon, eSalon SF, made headline news when Speaker Pelosi broke social distancing rules to get her hair done there.
Security footage emerged online of Pelosi visiting the salon - that was shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions - without wearing a mask.
However, rather than admit her mistake and apologize, Pelosi blamed the salon and accused Kious of a "set up," claiming she "tricked" her into visiting.
Kious said the incident has ruined her life and she has even received death threats in the wake of exposing the top Democrat's trip to her business on Monday.
After footage of the House speaker's trip went viral a day later Kious told Tucker Carlson Wednesday that her business was "done" and she may be forced to close for good.
Now a fundraiser - set up by former Nevada State GOP chairman Amy Tarkanian - has raised thousands to help Kious "to pay off any debts from the business that she is forced to shut down, expenses to relocate and reopen in a new location."
Pelosi has said she was "set up" by the salon she visited on Monday, where video footage showed her getting her hair done while not wearing a face mask.
But Kious has denied the allegations, telling Fox News: "[Pelosi] had called the stylist, or her assistant did, and had made the appointment so the appointment was already booked so there was no way I could have set that up.
"And I've had a camera system in there for five years, I mean I didn't go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up so that's absolutely false."
On Thursday a tearful Kious again denied setting up Pelosi, adding: "In fact, not only did I not set her up, her assertion that she is a victim and set up is totally false and outrageous."
San Francisco beauty parlors weren't supposed to open until September 1, the day after the speaker had her treatment.
Additionally, the California Department of Public Health requires face masks to be worn in public indoor places.
The fundraising campaign to help single mom-of-two Kious was set up by Tarkanian, according to The Washington Examiner.
Her husband Danny has run for public office, gaining the support of Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle who spoke at a 2018 fundraiser in support of the then-Republican congressional candidate.
Amy Tarkanian, who hopes to raise $300,000 for her friend of 20 years, wrote on the fundraising page: "Erica Kious, a single mother of two and owner of eSalon, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her hair done on Monday, is now being forced to shut down and relocate her business and family due to outrage and threats she is receiving.
"A maskless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited eSalon on Monday afternoon for a wash and blow-out, despite local ordinances keeping salons closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I have been friends with Erica and her family for roughly 20 years and wanted to help.
"Thank you for taking the time to do the same.
"She is overwhelmed by the flood of support and is grateful for those who are willing to speak out and stand up along her side."
Earlier Thursday Donald Trump mocked Pelosi, calling her "crazy" and asking why a speaker could be "so easily set up?"
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany came out swinging at the top of her press briefing on Thursday, playing on a loop the footage showing Pelosi in the salon - hair wet, face mask around her neck - as she blasted the speaker, accusing her of holding up negotiations on another round of coronavirus relief legislation to get her hair done.
Pelosi held a press conference in San Francisco on Wednesday to address her controversial visit, saying: "I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon I've been to over the years many times, and when they said we're able to accommodate people, one person at a time, and that we can set up that time, I trusted that.
"As it turns out, it was a setup," she said.
"It was a set up, and I take responsibility for falling for a setup," she added.
"I just had my hair washed.
"I don't wear a mask when I'm washing my hair.
"Do you wear a mask when you're washing your hair?
"I always wear a mask," Pelosi said.
"And that picture is when I just came out of the bowl."