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Here's Why NBC News Deleted a Report on the Paul Pelosi Attack

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

On Friday morning's episode of NBC's TODAY Show, National Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported new details from police on the break-in and assault of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul. The report was subsequently tweeted out by the official TODAY Show account...and then quietly deleted while a video clip on the TODAY Show's website was also subsequently disabled. Why?


Well, here's what the NBC News' Almaguer explained. "This morning, Paul Pelosi is home back at the house that became a crime scene a week ago today. NBC News learning new details about the moment police arrived," he reported. "Sources familiar with what unfolded in the Pelosi residence now revealing when officers responded to the high priority call, they were seemingly unaware they'd been called to the home of the Speaker of the House." 

A bit strange that the dispatcher nor officers were aware that the call was from Pelosi or that the address they were headed for was the Speaker's residence, but not an earth-shattering revelation. But then Almaguer's report got interesting.

"After a 'knock and announce', the front door was opened by Mr. Pelosi. The 82 year old did not immediately declare an emergency or try to leave his home," Almaguer recounted. "But instead, began walking several feet back into the foyer toward the assailant and away from police. It's unclear if the 82 year old was already injured or what his mental state was, say sources," he added. 

Those details reported by NBC News appear to directly contradict the sworn affidavit by FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor. According to the affidavit signed by Minor:

At 2:31 a.m., San Francisco Police Department (“SFPD”) Officer Colby Wilmes responded to the Pelosi residence, California and knocked on the front door. When the door was opened, Pelosi and DEPAPE were both holding a hammer with one hand and DEPAPE had his other hand holding onto Pelosi’s forearm.


So, why the difference in details? And why did NBC News report the new information from their sources without noting that it was seemingly contradictory to the government agents' statement of facts, only to try to deep-six the report entirely?

Almaguer's report for the TODAY Show continued by citing court documents that state "when the [responding] officer asked what was going on, defendant smiled and said 'everything's good,' but instantaneously a struggle ensued as police clearly saw David Depape strike Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer." 

Toward the end of his report, Almaguer pointed to the obvious question: "Why Pelosi didn't try to flee or tell responding officers he was in distress is unclear."

Here's the full clip that aired Friday morning and was since removed by NBC News:

After trying to memory-hole the report, NBC applied a strange note to the now-unplayable video's page: "The piece should not have aired because it did not meet NBC News reporting standards."

As some on Twitter pointed out, mainstream outlets reporting new information, then quickly and quietly trying to pretend they didn't report it, does not do much to help assuage those who think there's more to the story than is being explained.


Authorities still say they will not release body-worn camera footage from the responding officers — which would quickly clear up the disparity between what Almaguer reported and what the FBI affidavit stated — nor the 911 call Pelosi placed. The U.S. Capitol Police have also said they are not planning to release footage their cameras recorded the night of the break-in. 

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