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Assailant in police custody, Pelosi’s office says, as motives of attack at speaker’s San Francisco home remains unclear.

The husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been “violently assaulted” in their home in San Francisco, her office has said.

A spokesman for the top US lawmaker said the attack took place on Friday morning and the assailant is in custody, adding that Paul Pelosi is receiving “excellent” medical care. The motives behind the assault remain unclear.

“The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement. “The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time.”

The White House said later on Friday that President Joe Biden called Pelosi after the “horrible attack”.

“The president is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

“This morning he called Speaker Pelosi to express his support after this horrible attack. He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The President continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”

The attack comes less than two weeks ahead of the crucial November 8 midterm elections in which control of Congress, including the speakership of the House of Representatives, is up for grabs.

As a veteran Democrat, 82-year-old Pelosi is a frequent target for Republican criticism. Her office was ransacked during the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Paul Pelosi, 82, owns a San Francisco-based real estate and venture capital firm. He made headlines earlier this year when he was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol for which he was sentenced to five days in jail.

US Capitol Police, the agency responsible for the safety of members of Congress, said it was jointly investigating the assault with the FBI and the San Francisco Police Department, confirming that Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the incident.

“The San Francisco Police Department has the suspect in custody. The motivation for the attack is still under investigation,” Capitol Police said in a statement.

Lawmakers in Washington were quick to denounce the assault. “I am sickened by the assault on Paul Pelosi and the break-in of Speaker Pelosi’s home,” Congressman Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, wrote on Twitter. “They have been pillars of the Bay Area for decades and their home a welcome place for so many community members. Wishing Paul a full and speedy recovery.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, also of California, called news of the attack “horrific”.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Pelosi family during this incredibly difficult time, and I am relieved to hear Paul is expected to make a full recovery,” Lee said in a social media post.

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