In her interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson this week, Erica Kious was adamant that she did not "set up" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when the Democrat was caught on camera getting a hair blowout in her salon, ESalonSF, which has been shut down for months due to the coronavirus. Speaker Pelosi claimed innocence in a recent statement, insisting that the salon fooled her. She demanded an apology, but Kious said it's not coming.
Pelosi's aide, Kious explained, had called a stylist and made the appointment and the appointment was already booked, so there is "no way" she could have set that up.
"I've had a camera system in there for five years," Kious told Carlson. "I mean, I didn't go in there and turn cameras in as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that's absolutely false."
Business has been tough for the past six months, Kious continued, and they're "pretty much done." They've lost at least 60 percent of their clients, not to mention the majority of her staff.
Asked by Carlson if she thinks she'll stay in San Francisco, where she's been for 12 years, Kious said she doubts it. And it pains her because she thought this was her community. But ever since the Pelosi controversy, her Yelp page has been inundated with bad reviews, and she's received hateful threats, including one that warned her they'd burn her salon down.
Gov. Kristi Noem, who watched Kious's interview, took sympathy on her situation and said that South Dakota would welcome her with open arms.
My heart goes out to Erika. As a former female small business owner, I can only imagine how crushing these last few months have been. And now THIS!?— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 3, 2020
Erika, if you want to run your salon in a state that respects Freedom and won't shut you down, then South Dakota is open for you. https://t.co/la6CD5LScC
Gov. Noem's star has risen ever since she gave a stirring speech at last month's Republican National Convention, where she condemned the violence that has engulfed several Democratic-run cities in recent weeks and championed individual rights and self-government. She is one of only a handful of governors who have refused to issue a statewide stay-at-home order to keep businesses shuttered.
"I had a real honest conversation with the people in our state," she explained in April. "I told them I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of our state, of South Dakota," she said. "I took an oath when I was in Congress, obviously, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I've seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security and they don't have to do that."
Kious is still taken aback that Speaker Pelosi, who has has been coming into her salon for quite a while, felt superior to other San Franciscans. What about her suffering staff?
"If she is in there comfortably without a mask and feeling safe, then why are we shut down?" Kious asked.